Kal Penn has signed a book deal with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Variety has learned.
The deal is for an essay collection that Penn wrote, which will be published in 2019. In it, Penn shares his unique 21st century American success story, writing about ambition, the challenges of navigating Hollywood, and his unusual sabbatical that saw him working for the Obama administration. Audible will simultaneously release the audio version of the book, with Penn narrating.
Senior editor Kate Napolitano acquired the book in her first official deal since joining the publishing company last month.
Penn is a film and television star whose past roles include the comedy hit “Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle” and its sequels, Fox’s espionage drama “24” and the medical drama “House.” He currently stars on ABC’s “Designated Survivor” as Seth Wright, an adviser to the President played by “24” star Kiefer Sutherland. In 2009, he became the Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, now known simply as the White House Office of Public Liaison. Penn primarily served as Obama’s advisor on young Americans; his role also included outreach to the Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities, as well as the artistic community.