Actress Taraji P. Henson, who portrays Cookie Lyon, the sassy ex-con and former wife of hip-hop magnate Lucious Lyon on the critically acclaimed Fox show “Empire,” recently announced she will be releasing a memoir via 37 Ink/Atria Publishing Group (a Simon & Schuster imprint). There’s no title or an official release date yet, but Henson’s autobiography is scheduled to hit bookshelves sometime in mid-2016. According to USA Today, the memoir will focus on Henson’s life growing up in a rough-and-tumble neighborhood in Southeast D.C., her close-knit family, the challenges she has faced as a single mother and her long struggle on the road to mega stardom. “I know Taraji Henson will bring the same magnetism and dynamism to the page that she brings to the screen,” said publisher Dawn Davis in a statement. “Beyond the glamour, beyond the larger-than-life persona, Taraji Henson exudes an every-woman quality that her audience, which grew with each episode of Empire, can relate to.” 44-year-old Henson has starred on TV shows Person of Interest and Boston Legal and had roles in films such as: “Hustle and Flow,” “Baby Boy,” “Think Like a Man,” “The Karate Kid,” “No Good Deed,” and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” which earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. But her work on “Empire” has brought the widest recognition and commercial success to date. “There’s no mask,” she said of the character in an interview with The New York Times. “She is a raw nerve.” She also holds a bevy of other honors, including an Emmy nomination, an NAACP Image Award and a NAACP 2015 Entertainer of the Year Award from Oprah Winfrey.
According to several sources, Henson’s memoir was so hotly sought after, that it was the prize of a heated auction among several major publishing houses. She had multiple meetings with several publishers about the book in mid-March at a hotel in New York’s SoHo (and other locations). She is represented by literary agent Todd Shuster and longtime talent manager Vincent Cirrincionne. As a strong black woman and an accomplished A-List actress, Henson is becoming known as an inspiring role model for young women everywhere. “I always stress to kids to have faith in themselves — the greatest recipe for success is self-confidence.” It was recently confirmed that Henson will reprise her role as Detective Jocelyn “Joss” Carter on Person of Interest for a flashback episode. The actress also hosted Saturday Night Live on Saturday, April 11, with Mumford & Sons as the musical guest.
by Farren Washington