Canongate is to publish the final book from Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, which was completed in the months before his death in November 2016.
Francis Bickmore, Canongate publishing director, pre-empted UK and Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) to The Flame from Andrew Wylie at The Wylie Agency. Farrar, Straus & Giroux will publish in the USA, and McClelland & Stewart will publish in Canada, simultaneously with the UK publication.
The Flame is a "stunning collection" of Cohen’s last poems, selected and ordered by the author in the final months of his life. Additionally, the book contains an extensive selection from Cohen’s notebooks, which he kept in poetic form throughout his life, offering an "unprecedentedly intimate look inside the life and mind of a singular artist and thinker".
The Flame will also offer the full lyrics to Leonard’s final three albums, as well as those written by Cohen for the album "Blue Alert" by his collaborator Anjani. The book, which will also feature prose pieces and illustrations by Cohen, is "an enormously powerful final chapter in Cohen’s storied literary career", said the publisher.
It will be a lead hardback release for Canongate in Autumn 2018, publishing on October 16th.
Robert Kory, Cohen’s manager and trustee of the Cohen Estate, said: “During the final months of his life, Leonard had a singular focus—completing this book taken largely from his unpublished poems and selections from his notebooks. The flame and how our culture threatened its extinction was a central concern. Though in declining health, Leonard died unexpectedly. Those of us who had the rare privilege of spending time with him during this period recognized that the flame burned bright within him to the very end. This book, finished only days before his death, reveals to all the intensity of his inner fire.”
Bickmore added: “The Flame is a towering final book from Leonard Cohen, hulking with morbid wit and lit up with insight. This substantial parting work, from a great artist now gone, will speak to anyone who has been moved by Cohen's unique voice.”