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‘Wicked’ Director Jon M. Chu Sets Memoir With Random House

Random House will publish a memoir by Wicked director Jon M. Chu this summer.

Titled Viewfinder: A Memoir of Seeing and Being Seen, the book, co-authored with Jeremy McCarter, will be released July 23.

An announcement by Random House today says, “With striking candor and unrivaled insights, Chu offers a firsthand account of the collision of Silicon Valley and Hollywood – what it’s been like to watch his old world shatter and reshape his new one. Ultimately, Viewfinder is about reckoning with your own story, becoming your most creative self, and finding a path all your own.”

Before he directed such films as Crazy Rich Asians, In The Heights and the upcoming movie adaptation of the musical Wicked, Chu was “a movie-obsessed first-generation Chinese American, helping at his parents’ Chinese restaurant in Silicon Valley and forever facing the cultural identity crisis endemic to children of immigrants,” the release states. “Growing up on the cutting edge of 21st-century technology gave Chu the tools he needed to make his mark at USC film school, and to be discovered by Steven Spielberg, but he soon found himself struggling to understand who he was.”

“Now, in his memoir, Chu dives deep into his life and work for the first time,” the statement continues, “telling the universal story of questioning what it means when your dreams collide with your circumstances, and exploring how it’s possible to succeed even when the world changes beyond all recognition.”

World rights were acquired by Random House Editor in Chief Ben Greenberg from Lacy Lynch at Dupree Miller. The book will be published in hardcover and digital formats by Random House, an imprint of the Random House Publishing Group. An audiobook edition, read by the author, will be released simultaneously by Penguin Random House Audio.

“Like a lot of people, I’ve spent the last couple of years trying to navigate a world very different from what I expected it to be,” said Chu in a statement. “I’m so excited to share this deeply personal book, which is a record of how I retraced the steps that brought me here: from being a wide-eyed kid growing up during the rise of Silicon Valley, to learning the art of storytelling, to staying creative even as Hollywood cracks up all around me. It’s the book I wish someone had handed me when I was younger, a first-gen kid looking for reasons to believe there is a place for him in the world. I hope it connects to anyone trying to understand who they are, and why their story is worth telling.”

McCarter is the co-author, with Lin-Manuel Miranda, of the bestseller Hamilton: The Revolution. He is the author of Young Radicals, the founder of the acclaimed audio storytelling company Make-Believe Association, and the literary executor of the novelist and playwright Thornton Wilder.

Random House is an imprint of the Random House Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC

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