Her memoir, Becoming, sold 1.4m copies in its first week and paves the way for a sparkling post-White House career

No one could accuse Michelle Obama of lingering in her husband’s shadow. But few expected her to emerge as America’s queen of non-fiction.

Far from being a mere postscript to her White House years, the former US first lady’s memoir, Becoming, has proved a literary phenomenon and turning point in her career, dominating bestseller lists and filling stadiums during a promotional tour. And such is Michelle Mania that last month, she stole the show from the biggest stars in music by making a surprise appearance at the Grammy awards.

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