Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-05) has landed her first major book deal with Dey Street Books and will receive an initial commission of up to $250,000.
The deal was announced on Publishers Marketplace and is said to chronicle Omar’s “journey fleeing war in Somalia as a little girl, becoming a refugee in her early teens, and making her way against unspeakable odds to become the congresswoman-elect from Minnesota as a collection of remarkable firsts.”
The book will be titled This Is What America Looks Like, and Omar will work with a collaborator on its production, according to Forbes. Day Street Books Executive Editor Alessandra Bastagli told Forbes that Omar submitted a book proposal last year.
“I’ve been following Rep. Omar’s career since 2016 and was thrilled to receive her excellent book proposal on submission last year,” Bastagli said. “Her voice on the page is very much as it is in real life—fresh and positive even when she is tackling serious issues, with real empathy and deep knowledge.”
Both Bastagli and Omar’s literary agent Steve Ross hinted that her memoir will touch on the Trump administration and its policies.
“Her story counters everything we keep hearing from the current administration and the right-wing media about refugees, immigrants, Muslims and women,” Bastagli said. “This memoir presents an urgent and important counter-narrative. As an immigrant myself, I’m not just thrilled to be working with Rep. Omar, I am determined to ensure her story has the broad impact it deserves.”
Ross said Omar “is not someone who is timid about expressing her thoughts when she sees injustices—at the personal or the legislative levels.”
“Her arduous adventure to become an American and then move on from there highlights our strengths—as a beacon of freedom and hope and opportunity—and our more recent challenges, when we fail to recognize the degree to which we are a nation of immigrants, a delicious melting pot,” he added. “She inspires me in how seemingly effortlessly she excels in juggling so many crucial responsibilities, as a parent and as a leading voice in the new Congress during a time of great upheaval.”
Omar will also be featured in the forthcoming book The Firsts: The Women Who Shook Capitol Hill, which will profile Omar’s female colleagues such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY-14), and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI-13).
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