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Brittney Griner Working on Memoir About Her Time in Russian Prison

Basketball star Brittney Griner says she is working on her memoir detailing her experience of being arrested and incarcerated in Russia for drug charges.

Griner was detained for ten months after Russian authorities said they found vape canisters containing cannabis oil in her luggage in Moscow at the Sheremetyevo Airport.

She says she is grateful to have been rescued, and the day “was the beginning of an unfathomable period in my life.”

“At the heart of the book, Griner highlights the personal turmoil she experienced during the near ten-month ordeal and the resilience that carried her through to the day of her return to the United States last December,” Alfred A. Knopf, who will be publishing the memoir, said. 

The memoir will detail her detention, trial, and imprisonment and recount the public and behind-the-scenes efforts to bring the two-time Olympic gold medalist home to the United States. 

The Phoenix Mercury player said she hopes her book will raise awareness about other Americans detained overseas, including Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, arrested in Russia last month and accused of espionage; businessman Kai Li, serving a 10-year sentence in China on charges revealing state secrets to the FBI; and Paul Whelan, a corporate security executive imprisoned in Russia on spying charges. 

Griner was released in December after the Biden administration negotiated a prison swap with arms dealer Viktor Bout returning to Russia. This negotiation came shortly after Griner was sentenced to carry a maximum sentence of 10 years when she pleaded guilty to the drug charges.

“Readers will hear my story and understand why I’m so thankful for the outpouring of support from people across the world,” the 32-year-old said. 

Griner’s memoir is currently untitled but is set to be released in the Spring of 2024. This will be Griner’s second book. Her first, “In My Skin: My Life On and Off the Basketball Court,” was published in 2015.

The memoir will be published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House. Jordan Pavlin, Knopf’s senior vice president, and editor-in-chief will edit and have a co-writer.

Brittney Griner is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, three-time All-American at Baylor University, and has advocated for equal pay for women athletes. She was the first openly gay athlete to be endorsed by Nike.


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