Chelsea Manning, American activist, whistleblower, and a former United States Army soldier, is working on her memoir that is set to come out this fall. This long-awaited memoir is titled README.txt, and is scheduled for release on October 18, 2022.
When Manning’s book was initially announced in 2019, it did not yet have a title or a publication release date. The former intelligence analyst was sentenced to 35 years in prison but received a sentence reduction in 2017 after serving 7 years in a military prison for leaking a large amount of data to WikiLeaks. The day after she was convicted, Manning declared that her gender identity was a female and she began to transition.
She was prohibited from submitting evidence during her trial that she was acting in the public interest, and she was only permitted to discuss her motivations after she had already been given a sentence.
In a tweet, Manning shared: “something about ‘recounts how her pleas for increased institutional transparency and government accountability took place alongside a fight to defend her rights as a trans woman.’”
In the same tweet she also shared the link to the book which details further:
“While working as an intelligence analyst in Iraq for the United States Army, in 2010 Chelsea Manning disclosed more than 700,000 classified military and diplomatic records that she smuggled out on the memory card of her digital camera. In 2011 she was charged with twenty-two counts relating to the unauthorized possession and distribution of classified military records, and in 2013 she was sentenced to thirty-five years in military prison. The day after her conviction, Manning declared her gender identity as a woman and began to transition, seeking hormones through the federal court system. In 2017, President Barack Obama commuted her sentence and she was released from prison. In README.txt, Manning recounts how her pleas for increased institutional transparency and government accountability took place alongside a fight to defend her rights as a trans woman. Manning details the challenges of her childhood and adolescence as a naive, computer-savvy kid, what drew her to the military, and the fierce pride behind the work she does.”
The book’s title is in reference to a file that Manning used to send messages about the documents. The play on words is both a nod to the urgency she felt as well as coding lingo that would peak the interest of anyone who is computer savvy.
You can pre-order a copy of README.txt here.
For more reading materials, check out these 5 cult queer books.
Photo via Chelsea Manning/Twitter