Canongate is to publish the "unauthorised" memoirs of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange tomorrow (22nd September), despite his attempts to cancel the contract he signed with the publisher for his autobiography.
Julian Assange: The Unauthorised Autobiography will comprise the first draft of Assange’s “part memoir, part manifesto” as delivered to Canongate in March this year. The Scottish indie had sold rights to 38 publishers worldwide, including Knopf in the US.
However, according to Canongate, he told the publisher in June that he wanted to cancel the contract. However, as he had already signed his advance over to his lawyers to pay his legal bills and has not repaid it, Canongate will go ahead.
The publisher said: "We have decided to honour that contract and to publish. Once the advance has been earned out, we will continue to honour the contract and pay Julian royalties.
"We disagree with Julian’s assessment of the book. We believe it explains both the man and his work, underlining his commitment to the truth. Julian always claimed the book was well written; we agree, and this has encouraged us to make the book available to readers."
Assange at the time of signing the contract described it as "one of the unifying documents of our generation". It covers his nomadic childhood in Australia, and his days as a teenage hacker, a "cypherpunk" and the circumstances that lead him to found WikiLeaks in 2006.
Canongate added: "[The book] fulfils the promise of the original book proposal and is, like its author, passionate, provocative and opinionated. We are proud to publish it."
The title will be serialised in the Independent from tomorrow.