Will Smith has revealed the cover of his memoir Will, published by Century this November, at a community block party in Miami.
The memoir will chart Smith's transformation from a "fearful child" to becoming one of the most successful Hollywood actors. The synopsis explains: "In Will, one of the most dynamic and globally recognised entertainment forces of our time opens up fully about his life, tracing his learning curve to a place where outer success, inner happiness, and human connection are aligned. Along the way, Will tells the story in full of one of the most amazing rides through the worlds of music and film that anyone has ever had.
"This memoir is the product of a profound journey of self-knowledge, a reckoning with all that your will can get you and all that it can leave behind. Will is the story of how one person mastered his own emotions, written in a way that can help everyone else do the same. Few of us will know the pressure of performing on the world’s biggest stages for the highest of stakes, but we can all understand that the fuel that works for one stage of our journey might have to be changed if we want to make it all the way home. The combination of genuine wisdom of universal value and a life story that is preposterously entertaining, even astonishing, puts Will the book, like its author, in a category by itself."
The book was written with the help of Mark Manson, author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (HarperOne) and acquired by Century in 2018. Century will publish the memoir on 9th November.
Smith, a two-time Academy Award nominee, Grammy Award and NAACP Image Award winner, will also be narrating the audiobook for Penguin Random House UK Audio. He celebrated the announcement of Will on 19th June with a party in the Wynwood Arts District of Miami.
New Orleans-based visual artist Brandan “BMike” Odums designed and unveiled the cover of the memoir, which features a series of layered portraits of Smith throughout his life, each one painted on top of the other. The idea is to communicate visually the evolution of a person, from childhood through adulthood, and at major stages of their life in between.
The block party also marked the launch of the Will Youth Book Club, which will build a global community around the themes of Smith’s book, with the goal of "deepening members’ love of reading, culture, self-expression, self-healing, and self-awareness".
Ben Brusey, publishing director at the PRH imprint, who acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Abner Stein with CAA for an undisclosed sum, said: “Will Smith’s brave, inspiring and preposterously entertaining memoir will be the global event publication of the year. Full of honesty, genuine wisdom and universal life lessons, it is a book that will empower so many readers to overcome challenges in their own lives. We are thrilled and honoured to be sharing Will Smith’s special book with readers in the UK and around the Commonwealth.”