Having proven himself a reliable font of publishing news throughout the latter half of 2013 – whether pushing through the release of his Autobiography on Penguin Classics with a month’s notice, seeing it become the fastest selling music memoir since records began or having the same-sex relationship depicted therein dropped from its US edition – Morrissey has now intimated that he may continue to pursue a career in the literary arena. Other portions of the ever-arch musician’s recent Q&A with fan site True To You may have drawn more attention, but upon being asked if he had ever thought of writing a novel, Morrissey replied in the affirmative, saying he had not only thought about it but was in fact ‘mid-way through’ it.
Claiming that Autobiography has been ‘more successful than any record I have ever released’, Morrissey went on to bemoan… well, a lot of things, but on this particular subject, his loss of interest in the music industry, saying ‘The actuality is that radio stations will not play my music, and the majority of people have lost faith in the music industry, and it’s generally assumed – quite rightly – that the number one chart positions are “bought” by the major labels, so there really is no passion left in pop or rock music, and I don’t think people believe for an instant that the faces we constantly see on television and in magazines are remotely popular. It’s all, now, solely a question of marketing. All success stories are safe and dreary, and you will never be taken by surprise by a hit song that sounds out of place.’ Whether that means his attentions have now permanently turned to the written word is unclear, but it certainly seems like a more viable way at present for him to make something that will seize imaginations beyond his ever-devoted fanbase.
He gave no indication of what the novel is about, when he might finish it, or really any other details about it whatsoever, but fans of Autobiography will no doubt hope it expands on the expertly sketched Manchester of his youth more than the interminable legal struggles between the various factions of The Smiths – say what you will about the memoir (and many have), but there is no way sentences like ‘Miss Redmond is aging, and will never marry, and will die smelling of attics’ could ever spring from the pen of anyone else, much less any other musician-turned-novelist.