‘An Open Letter to Morrissey’: Publisher Faber & Faber pleads for Moz’s memoirs

Morrissey, circa 2005

Esteemed UK publishing house Faber & Faber has posted “An Open Letter to Morrissey” on its blog, imploring the former Smiths singer to not only complete his long-discussed autobiography but let the company publish it — noting that, “History demands it; destiny commands it.”

Posted last week, the florid letter by editorial director Lee Brackstone notes the publisher’s brief previous correspondence with Morrissey about the project, observing, “It would be the fulfilment of my most pressing and persistent publishing dream to see that ‘ff’ sewn into the spine of your Life. Just any other publisher won’t do. You deserve Faber and the love we can give you.”

Brackstone wastes no time buttering the singer up:

“We also like to think we are the custodians of twentieth-century Modernist poetry. In fact we are. Our shelves groan and bulge and spill over under the weight of Ezra, Larkin, Hughes and Heaney. And that’s just the surface; deep as it may seem. We feel very strongly that you belong in this company. To me (and to many of my colleagues) you are already in this company.”

Morrissey told the BBC in 2008 that he’d begun working on his memoirs, saying it was his chance to speak directly to his fans without the distortion of the media: “With every printed interview, there’s lots of misquotes,” Morrissey told the BBC. “Lots of them are really silly and really extreme, which you have to live with the rest of your life. So it’s setting the record straight.”

Late last year, the singer published what is believed to be a section from that work: an essay called “The Bleak Moor Lies” that was included in “The Dark Monarch: Magic and Modernism in British Art.” According to the NME, the apparently fictional story concerns a group of friends who travel to Saddleworth Moor — infamous for the Moors Murders, which Moz wrote about in the Smiths’ “Suffer Little Children” — and encounter a ghost.

It’s not known, as Brackstone’s letter makes clear, where Morrissey stands with this memoirs, and when or if they might actually be published.

Read Lee Brackstone’s ‘An Open Letter to Morrissey’ after the jump…

“An Open Letter to Morrissey,” by Lee Brackstone:

Dear Morrissey,

In the hope that you might consider bringing your much-rumoured memoir to The House of Eliot, I am posting this letter on the Faber website. Forlorn as this hope may be, I can only fantasise that at least you might read my letter through and consider the pleasures and prestige of being an author at Faber, the last great family-owned independent publishing house in the western hemisphere.

I have been trying to persuade you of the virtues and wisdom of this for some years now. You probably won’t remember. We even corresponded at one point via a friend of yours, an author of mine, most famous for his biography of Roxy Music which ends just as the band are getting together. You see, we love the perverse and the contrary at Faber. And we also like to think we are the custodians of twentieth-century Modernist poetry. In fact we are. Our shelves groan and bulge and spill over under the weight of Ezra, Larkin, Hughes and Heaney. And that’s just the surface; deep as it may seem. We feel very strongly that you belong in this company. To me (and to many of my colleagues) you are already in this company. It would be the fulfilment of my most pressing and persistent publishing dream to see that ‘ff’ sewn into the spine of your Life. Just any other publisher won’t do. You deserve Faber and the love we can give you. History demands it; destiny commands it.

I did receive a fax from you once to my invitation. And you responded with interest. I don’t know if at that stage you had embarked on your project but I have recently heard again that ‘it is on’.

Morrissey, the doors of our Georgian Bloomsbury-based publishing house are open to you wherever you may be: Rome, LA, Manchester. We recently published a book of Kevin Cummins’ photographs of Manchester pop which you may have seen. If you read this and would like a copy I will gladly send one to you. Perhaps it could mark the start of a beautiful friendship.

With warm wishes,

Lee Brackstone

 

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