Morrissey autobiography deal has collapsed, says semi-official fan site

Last-minute disagreement with Penguin Books is said to have prevented publication

There may be "more to life than books", as Morrissey sang in Handsome Devil, but heaven knows he's miserable now with a fan site reporting that the planned publication of his autobiography has collapsed.

According to the semi-official True-To-You, Penguin Books was due to publish it on 16 September but "a last-minute content disagreement" between the publisher and Morrissey "caused the venture to collapse".

Any "last-minute" disagreement has clearly been brewing for some time, as the book has yet to appear on booksellers' schedules. According to True-To-You, no review copies were printed and Morrissey is now in search of a new publisher.

Penguin has refused to confirm or deny that the book was due to be published, or even the existence of the reported deal with the singer.

The saga of the so-called Mozography, which was to be called simply Autobiography, has been rumbling for several years. Morrissey finished writing his book in 2011, and took his time in selecting a publisher, even after Faber and Faber editorial director Lee Brackstone wrote an open letter to the artist in an attempt to woo him.

The frontman of 1980s indie band The Smiths, whose singles including Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now and William, It Was Really Nothing, inspired a generation and cemented Morrissey's status as the foremost miserablist of British music, previously said that he wanted the book to become a Penguin Classic.

In 2011 he told Radio 4's Front Row: "I'd like it to go to Penguin, but only if they published it as a Classic. I can't see why not – a contemporary Penguin Classic. When you consider what really hits print these days and when you look at the autobiographies and how they are sold, most of it is appalling. It's a publishing event, not a literary event."

Morrissey has yet to comment on the reasons for the disagreement over "content", but the singer gave notice of his insistence on creative control back in 1986, when he sang: "If you must write prose and poems/The words you use should be your own."


Liz Bury

The GuardianTramp

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