The contrarian poet kills off his deal with Penguin.

The planned publication of Morrissey’s memoir has been scrapped after a “last-minute content disagreement” between the singer and his publisher, Penguin Books.

As semi-official fan site True To You reports, Autobiography was set to be available throughout the UK next Monday, September 16. However, no review copies were printed, suggesting that the “last-minute” squabble had been going on for some time. Moz is now in search of a new publisher.

The former Smiths’ icon finished writing the book in 2011 and spent plenty of time shopping for publishers, eventually stating his desire to publish the book as a Penguin Classic, despite that series usually being reserved for the likes of Plato and the Brontë sisters.

“I’d like it to go to Penguin, but only if they published it as a Classic,” he told BBC Radio 4 previously. “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.”

Update: In a not-so-shocking twist, the publisher “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” (according to The Guardian), with Spin adding that “nobody [at Penguin] ever saw a copy nor is there any record of it, anywhere.”

Update 2: Penguin Books has made a U-turn of sorts, confirming that the publication of Morrissey’s Autobiography remains with the publisher. “This is a deal for the UK and Europe, but Morrissey has no contract with a publisher for the U.S. or any other territory. As of 13 September, Morrissey and Penguin (UK) remain determined to publish within the next few weeks,” the company said in a statement. We’re not holding our breath. [via NME]

Morrissey has endured something of an annus horribilis in 2013, with numerous false starts and close scrapes including being forced to cancel his entire South American tour after a bout of food poisoning and being told by his doctor to retire for the sake his health.

Here’s what we could’ve won (allegedly). It’s a great cover, admittedly:



Share Tweet