BOOK 137: AUTOBIOGRAPHY: MORRISSEY
Autobiography is a book by the British singer-songwriter Morrissey, published in October 2013.
Controversially, it was published under the Penguin Classics imprint. It was a number one best-seller in the UK and received polarised reviews, with certain reviewers hailing it as brilliant writing and others decrying it as overwrought and self-indulgent.
A few days before the book's apparently scheduled, but unannounced, release on 16 September 2013, Morrissey issued a statement explaining that a content dispute with Penguin Books meant that publication would be delayed and that he was seeking a new publisher.The book's subsequent European release, on 17 October 2013, caused controversy as it was published under the Penguin Classics imprint, normally reserved for highly esteemed deceased authors.
The book is not divided into chapters and its opening paragraph lasts four-and-a-half pages. The book covers Morrissey's childhood and adolescence, his period as lead singer with The Smiths, his subsequent solo career and his courtroom battles with Smiths drummer Mike Joyce, who sued him for royalties in the 1990s. He writes extensively about the television, literature and music that influenced him, devoting many pages to the New York Dolls, whom he persuaded to reform in the 2000s. The book includes a number of descriptions of people Morrissey has worked with which his biographer Tony Fletcher calls "character assassinations". Fletcher describes the depiction of Rough Trade Records boss Geoff Travis as particularly unflattering. Morrissey writes in the book about two serious romantic relationships he has had with a woman and a man. In the days following the book's release, he issued a statement emphasising that he did not consider himself to be gay: "I am attracted to humans. But, of course, not many".
The book was not issued with an index, although an informal and unauthorised "online index" created by a fan was released on 22 May 2014.