True to You, Morrissey’s semi-official fansite, revealed on September 12, that Morrissey’s highly-anticipated autobiography was scheduled to be released on September 16. Publication of the succinctly-titled Autobiography, which was to have been granted immediate Penguin Classic status, was put on hold due to a last-minute content disagreement. In an official statement, it was reported that the writer and publisher Penguin Books would no longer be working together on the project. This was the first time that a concrete release date had been announced. Previously, Morrissey had insisted that his memoirs were complete but that he hadn’t found a suitable publisher. Morrissey’s official statement continued to say that he was in search of a new publisher and that no review copies had been printed. He did, however, allow a preview of the cover artwork which features a photograph by Paul Spencer which had previously been used for the cover of Morrissey’s 2008 Greatest Hits collection.
The saga continued the following day, September 13, when another official statement was issued. This one alluded to a new deal with Penguin Books. It said that Morrissey and Penguin UK were determined to publish Autobiography together. Publication details and release date are undetermined, but the statement suggests that it could be within the next few weeks. Perhaps wisely, the book is not available for pre-order. This new deal, however, is only for the UK and Europe. Morrissey currently has no publisher in the U.S. or any other area, and the statement remains silent on whether that could change in the future.
Though the U.S. will be denied its own domestically printed copies for the time being (Amazon UK, anyone?), many readers will finally get Morrissey’s definitive take on his life and career up to the end of The Smiths in 1987.
Last February, Morrissey spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about his autobiography, stating, ‘If the book doesn’t come out soon, I’ll burn it,’ adding, ‘I’ve never felt fully present in my own life. I’ve always felt like a ghost drifting through. I’m not actually flesh. So autobiography is a therapeutic act of self-loyalty, even if, like me, you end up with chapters of self-disgust rather than reams of narcissism.’ Sounds promising. Let’s hope this gets a wider publication eventually.