Bob Dylan to Write Multivolume Autobiography

By | October 23, 2001 at 12:00 AM

Rock legend Bob Dylan has reached a deal to write a multivolume autobiography called “Chronicles,” a spokeswoman for his publisher, Simon & Schuster, said on Monday.

“Over the years, he’s engaged in all forms of writing. This is just a natural extension of the experience,” said Elliott Mintz, Dylan’s spokesman.

Dylan, 60, won the best-album Grammy award in 1997 for “Time Out of Mind,” an Oscar for best song for last year’s “Things Have Changed,” and has been nominated for a Nobel Prize in literature.

This autumn, he released “Love and Theft,” his 43rd album, to critical acclaim and is currently on a national tour that has received rave reviews from the press and fans.

While he has written more than 500 songs, Dylan’s only book, “Tarantula,” a series of poems and free-form fiction, was penned in 1966 when he was 25. In an interview with European reporters in Rome last summer, Dylan said he was forced to write “Tarantula” by his manager.

This time a book is his idea.

“I think that what I’m writing has been trying to find its way out for some time now,” he said.

He told Time Magazine last September he had written 150 to 200 pages of the autobiography and was piecing together anecdotes about himself that others have told because “my retrievable memory, it goes blank on incidents and things that have happened.”

His life has been the subject of several biographies and dozens of books, with listing 156 books in print on Dylan.

The most recent of those books have portrayed him as a man obsessed by privacy and hounded by fans, a performer who rose to fame by exploiting his fellow musicians.

Mintz said Dylan had “never responded” to such criticism and the autobiography was not being written for that purpose. “He’s lived a long, eventful life. He’s just elected to do this now.”

“I like to write,” Dylan told the interviewers in Rome and promised to be “looking at everything from a new point of view.”

The first volume of the memoir is scheduled for publication sometime next year. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Simon and Schuster is the publishing operation of media giant Viacom Inc.

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