The New Book by Pope Francis has a Personal Touch

The modest cover art for Pope Francis’s upcoming book was unveiled today: Wearing papal white, he smiles softly against a white background, as if to convey,

For Life, My Story Through History, which Harper Collins will publish in late March in Italian, English, Spanish, French, German, Polish, and Portuguese throughout North and South America and Europe, the pope personally selected this captivating image.

“He picked this image by a Vatican photographer because he wanted it to be direct. He looks happy, like someone who won’t scold you but will inspire you and teach you things,” says Judith Curr, president and publisher for HarperOne,

A life is not precisely a biography, autobiography, or memoir. Instead, it switches between the voices of the pope and Italian media business Mediaset journalist Fabio Marchese Ragona, who acts as a narrator and provides the background information. Curr remarks, Curr says, “The book opens with him as a three-year-old playing with pans at his mother’s feet on the day World War was declared in Europe.” 

The conversation proceeds as an intimate conversation, with Francis sharing his personal experiences and opinions on God, faith, and the future, and the journalist writing about who he was and where he was at significant times.

Francis was also directly involved in selecting the publisher. Only nine months ago, during the London Book Fair, Ragona and Mediaset met with Laura Donnini, managing director of HarperCollins Italia, to discuss business, according to Chantal Restivo-Alessi, CEO of Harper Collins’ International Foreign Language and Chief Digital Officer, who speaks with PW. They conveyed his desire to find a publishing business that could release the book quickly, market it across many platforms such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Tik-Tok influencers, and provide a unified and consistent message in his authentic voice.

Restivo-Alessi asserts, “We are uniquely positioned to operate in this way,” citing their international book campaigns including writers like Daniel Silva, Don Winslow, and Karin Slaughter. She pointed out that HC’s network of experienced translators could work quickly on the material, and its astute marketers are tackling the pope’s main book objective, which is to reach a younger audience.

Francis says in the book,Life came to light so that young people, in particular, might listen to the voice of an old man and reflect on what our planet has lived through, so as not to repeat the mistakes of the past.”

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