HarperCollins has signed an agreement to publish a new book by Pope Francis across all of its global operations. Life, My Story Through History is expected to be published by HC next spring in the U. S., U.K., Italy, Canada, Brazil, France, Germany, Mexico, Portugal, Spain, and South America. Emily Martin, senior director of international publishing, and Chantal Restivo-Alessi, HC's international foreign language business and chief digital officer, are overseeing the publication of the book.
Laura Donnini, managing director of HarperCollins Italia, negotiated the agreement with Fabio Marchese Ragona, journalist for the Italian media company Mediaset, who is writing the book with the Pope; Ragona serves as the narrator of the story and describes the historical context in which the Pope lived.
Though not called a memoir, the book will feature the Pope’s recollections of important global events, beginning with the outbreak of World War II. Other events Pope Francis will recount, HC said, include the Nazi extermination of the Jews, the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the great economic recession of 2008, the collapse of the Twin Towers, the pandemic, the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, and the conclave that elected him as Pope Francis. The Pope will also share messages on major current issues including social inequalities, the climate crisis, war, atomic weapons, racial discrimination, and abortion battles, HC continued.
“In this book we tell a story, the story of my life, through the most important and dramatic events that humanity has experienced over the past eighty years," the Pope said in a statement. "This book was written so that people, especially younger people, can listen to the voice of an elderly person and reflect on what our planet has experienced, so as not to repeat the mistakes of the past."
Born Jorge Mario Bergoglio in 1936 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Francis was elected Pope in March 2013. Though this is the first book by Pope Francis to be published by HC, he has written books with other publishers. His first book after he became Pope was The Name of God is Mercy, published in January 2016 by Random House; it has sold more than 131,000 copies at outlets that report to Circana Bookscan. His more recent book, Let Us Dream: The Path to a Better Future, was written with Francis’s biographer, Austen Ivereight, and was released in 2020 by Simon & Schuster; it sold more than56,000 copies in hardcover.
“We are honored to be publishing Pope Francis’ book,” said Brian Murray, president and CEO of HarperCollins in a statement. “From his life in Argentina to his election as the Pontifex of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis has lived an exceptional life bearing witness to some of the most defining moments in recent history. We look forward to bringing his story to readers around the world.”