Brittney Griner Announces Book on Distressing Imprisonment and Release

WNBA player and Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner is releasing a book later this year on her experience in Russia. Read on for details.

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Brittney Griner talking at a press conference.

Brittney Griner spent nearly a year detained in Russia on drug-related charges. She was arrested in February 2022, and she wasn’t released and allowed to come back to the U.S. until December 2022. Much happened at the time, and now she is putting her story in a new book called Coming Home that will be published on May 7, 2024.

What happened?

Griner was arrested in February 2022 after customs officials at Sheremetyevo Airport alleged she had vape cartridges that had oil from the cannabis plant in her bags. This was around the start of the Russia-Ukraine War, so tensions were high between the U.S. and Russia, which is partially why she was detained for so long. After long negotiations, she was released as part of a prisoner exchange, with the U.S. releasing Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.

Coming Home

Griner will share all the details of her time in Russia, including her isolation during her trial, navigating a foreign legal system, her physical and emotional struggles as the only African American woman in a Russian penal colony, and how she has risen and come out stronger after her release and return to the U.S.

Coming Home begins in a land where my roots developed and is the diary of my heartaches and regrets. But, ultimately, the book is also a story of how my family, my faith, and the support of millions who rallied for my rescue helped me endure a nightmare.

Brittney Griner via ABC News
'Coming Home' by Brittney Griner and Michelle Burford book cover with a closeup picture of Brittney Griner.

The book will be published by Knopf Publishing Group, an imprint of Penguin Random House. They have published similar books by other star athletes, and they are proud to now count Griner among them with her story of survival and hope.

Griner has said that she also wants to use this book as a chance to advocate for and bring awareness to other Americans who are detained overseas, including some still in Russia. She has also joined with the Bring Our Families Home organization, who advocate for the release of American detainees.

Hopefully, her book will encourage those in similar situations, as well as their loved ones, and inspire change.

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