Putting pen to paper! Whether it be a memoir, children’s book or something in between, celebrities — including the Kardashian sisters, Michelle Obama and Mindy Kaling — have all taken their talents outside of the realm of Hollywood by becoming successful authors.
The Mindy Project alum made her authorial debut in 2011 when Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) hit shelves, followed by Questions I Ask When I Want to Talk About Myself: 50 Topics to Share With Friends in 2013 and Why Not Me? in 2015. Her 2020 essay collection, Nothing Like I Imagined (Except for Sometimes), explored her identities as an Indian woman, an actress and a single mom.
“I think I am so used to labels. The labels have been the center stone of my entire career. And sometimes they’re useful because it separates me from other people,” the Never Have I Ever producer told NPR in October 2020. “But I don’t think I would get far in this business if I had a thin skin about labels because for me — and it’s not just those. It’s, like, not traditionally thin, like, dark-skinned, like, not your Bollywood — so I’ve had these since — pretty much since I had my own show, I was sort of inundated with how other I was and really quickly. I think I’m pretty comfortable with them. And actually as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to embrace them a little bit.”
“Sometimes it’s the most liberating and lucky feeling in the world,” she explained. “Sometimes I am just so grateful to be an independent woman doing what I want, when I want, that I could cry with gratitude. … I save a truly staggering amount of time not having to run my parenting decisions by another person. Good or bad, I can just, like, quickly make a decision and move on with my day.”
While the Office alum chose to go into detail about her current lifestyle, Obama delved deeper into her upbringing in her 2018 memoir, Becoming, which sold more than 2 million copies in two weeks, breaking the record for the year’s highest-selling book.
In 24 chapters, the former first lady describes how her childhood in Chicago led her to where she is now. Obama embarked on a nationwide tour to promote the book, sitting down with an accomplished and diverse group of guests in front of sold-out crowds. In 2020, the Princeton University grad earned the Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for her reading of the audiobook and released a Netflix documentary based on her memoir.
“So little of who I am happened in those eight years [in the White House],” she said in the film’s trailer. “So much more of who I was happened before. … We can’t afford to wait for the world to be equal to start feeling seen.”
Scroll down for a recap of some of the most successful stars-turned-authors: