Kobe Bryant's first posthumous book will be Geese Are Never Swans, a collaboration with psychologist Eva Clark, Vanessa Bryant revealed on Instagram late Thursday. The book features a new character Bryant created, an aspiring Olympic swimmer who faces adversity inside and outside the pool. It is Bryant's fifth book, and it was written with help from artists in the mental health community.
Geese Are Never Swans centers on Gus Bennett, a brand new character Bryant created, and the swimmer's relationship with his coach, Marks. Vanessa called the book one of her "favorite novels" written by the late Los Angeles Lakers legend. "This story perfectly highlights the healing nature that lies within sports," she wrote on Instagram. The book will be released on July 21 and is now available for pre-order.
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At the start of the book, Gus has to convince Marks to coach him. Marks was Gus' brother Danny's coach, until Danny took his own life after he was not picked for the national swimming team. Gus and Danny did not get along when he was alive, and he continues to feel like he lives in his older brother's shadow. "In this powerful novel about the punishing and the healing nature of sports, Gus's rage threatens to swallow him at every turn," reads the book's synopsis. "He’s angry at his brother, his mother, his coach . . . even himself. But as he works through his feelings and toward his goal, Gus does everything he can to channel his anger into excelling at the sport that he and Danny both loved, finding solace in the same place he must face his demons: the water."
The book was written with the help of mental health organizations, including The Hidden Opponent and The Michael Phelps Foundation. This is Bryant's fifth book, and follows the success of his The Wizenard Series written with Wesley King. He also co-wrote Epoca: The Tree of Ecrof with Ivy Claire and the memoir The Mamba Mentality: How I Play.
Before his death in January, Bryant collaborated with Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho on another chilren's book, but it will not be published. Coelho told The Associated Press he deleted the draft moments after hearing about Bryant's death in a helicopter crash. "That doesn't stop me from writing someday about things I learned from Kobe and how much of a larger-than-life person he was," he explained. "But the children's book did not make sense anymore."
Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26 along with six other passengers and the pilot. Last week, the Los Angeles County coroner released the autopsy reports for the victims of the crash. The manner of death was determined to be an accident.