US Justice Sonia Sotomayor writes of life's struggles

In a memoir to be published on Tuesday, Sonia Sotomayor writes of the chronic disease, troubled family relationships and failed marriage that accompanied her rise from a housing project in the Bronx to a seat on America's highest court.

The first Hispanic and the third woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, the 58-year-old justice, appointed by President Barack Obama in 2009, describes the insecurities she has felt as a minority who benefited from racial remedies.

She signed on to write the sweeping, 315-page book, "My Beloved World," early in her tenure. She received a $1.175 million book advance in 2010 from publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, according to financial disclosure records.

Sitting down for a rare interview in her Supreme Court chambers, Sotomayor said that after being thrust into the public limelight with her nomination to the court, she felt the need for introspection to hold onto her identity.

The court's nine justices, appointed for life, typically decline to sit for interviews or offer any personal observations related to cases. Book tours offer rare opportunities to draw them out on issues, even if only a little.

"I began to realize that if I didn't stop and take a breath and figure out who this Sonia was, I could be in danger of losing the best in me," she said. She didn't want the memoir to be a retelling of her public persona, but rather to reveal who she is as a person, she said.

The interview was part of an orchestrated media blitz to promote the book, which included appearances on Sunday night's popular CBS News program "60 Minutes" and in People Magazine.

In the coming-of-age story, Sotomayor paints a picture of her young self as a boisterous child, once rescued by a fireman neighbor when she got her head stuck in a bucket, trying to hear what her voice sounded like.

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