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All the details about Serena Williams' newly announced 2-book deal

Serena Williams is writing two books, including a memoir, as part of a deal with Penguin Random House Publishing Group.
All the details about Serena Williams' newly announced 2-book deal
Posted at 5:17 PM, Oct 18, 2023

Serena Williams has traded in her racket for a pen.

The recently retired tennis legend announced Wednesday she has signed a two-book deal with the Penguin Random House Publishing Group, both of which will reflect on her life on and off the court.

"For so long, all I was focused on was winning, and I never sat down to look back and reflect on my life and career. Over the last year I've really enjoyed taking the time with my growing family to celebrate my accomplishments and explore my other passions," Williams, who gave birth to her second child in August, said. " I couldn't be at a more perfect place to be able to take on such a personal intimate project, and there's no one I would rather do it with than the team at Random House."

Williams will first release an "intimate" memoir, in which the 42-year-old "will offer a full and open account of her remarkable life," the publisher said. 

The book will journey from learning to play tennis with her mother and father — who was played by Will Smith in the 2021 film "King Richard," which dramatized Williams' rise to fame — to her reign as the top women's tennis player in the world. The memoir will also explore her relationship with Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, whom she married in 2017, and with whom she shares daughters 6-year-old Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. — who goes by her middle name — and nearly 2-month old Adira River Ohanian.

SEE MORE: Serena Williams gives birth to baby girl

The second book is described as an "inspirational" novel which will feature Williams offering "rules for living," inspired by her experiences as a philanthropist, advocate, investor and "someone who has long sought to lift a diverse and emergent generation of young women whose aspirations are not confined to the court," Random House said.

"Both books will be bound by an unwavering belief in the power of perseverance, overcoming adversity, and dreaming unabashedly," the publisher said.

Titles and release dates have yet to be announced for either book.

Williams started playing tennis at the age of 4 in Compton, California, where she grew up. Her father home-schooled her and her sister, Venus, who also went on to become a tennis legend.

The family moved to West Palm Beach, Florida, when Williams was 9 so that she could attend an elite tennis academy, though her father pulled her out of ninth grade at the academy to coach her himself.

Williams became professional at age 14 and won her first Grand Slam title at the 1999 U.S. Open when she was 17. This kickstarted nearly three decades of a decorated career, complete with 39 major tennis titles — including 23 Grand Slam women's single titles, which is the most in the Open Era and the second-most of all time, and 14 in doubles with Venus; four Olympic gold medals; more than 300 weeks ranked No. 1, and nearly $95 million in prize money.

Shortly before the 2022 U.S. Open, the legend announced she was "evolving" away from the game, and she hasn't played since that final match.

Now seeming to "evolve" toward the two books, these won't be her first venture as an author.

She previously released a memoir, "On the Line," in 2009, and a self-help book in 2005 titled, "Venus & Serena: Serving from the Hip: 10 Rules for Living, Loving, and Winning," which she made with Venus and author Hilary Beard. She also released a picture storybook, "The Adventures of Qai Qai," last year, based on her daughter's social media-famous doll.


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