Nick Cave's Faith, Hope & Carnage goes to Canongate in 10-way auction

Nick Cave's Faith, Hope & Carnage goes to Canongate in 10-way auction

Canongate has triumphed in a 10-way auction for Faith, Hope & Carnage, an insight into the life and meditations of Nick Cave, co-written by the singer-songwriter and Sean O'Hagan.

The book is drawn from more than 40 hours of conversation between Observer journalist O'Hagan and Cave, who have known each other for 30 years.

Its synopsis explains: "Faith, Hope & Carnage promises to be a thoughtful book about Cave’s inner life over the last six years, a meditation on big ideas including, faith, art, music, grief and much more. It is a project prompted by lockdown, and one that sits comfortably alongside Cave’s weekly mailing list 'The Red Hand Files'.

"It is at once borne of and in some sense a tribute to the stillness—and imperative period of reflection—wrought by a global pandemic."

Publishing director Francis Bickmore acquired world rights, excluding North America, to the book from Elizabeth Sheinkman at PFD. Sheinkman simultaneously accepted a pre-empt for US rights from Mitzi Angel at FSG. Michael Heyward at Text pre-empted Australian rights from Canongate, and Kestin Gleba subsequently pre-empted German rights for Kiepenheuer & Witsch. The book will be published globally in hardback in autumn 2022.

Cave said: “This is the first interview I’ve given in years. It’s over 40 hours long. That should do me for the duration, I think. It has been a strange, anchoring pleasure to talk to Sean O’Hagan through these uncertain times, and a pleasure to continue my relationship with Canongate, who are as ever committed and passionate.”

O’Hagan added: “This is a book of intimate and often surprising conversations in which Nick Cave talks honestly about his life, his music and the dramatic transformation of both, wrought by personal tragedy. Arranged around a series of themes—including song-writing, grief, creativity, collaboration, catastrophe, defiance and mortality—it provides deep insight into the singular mind of one of the most original and challenging artists of our time, as well as exploring the complex dynamic between faith and doubt that underpins his work.”

Commenting on the work, Bickmore said: "This is the spiritual vitamin shot we all need right now, when recent events have given us need to lean into the mystery more than ever. The format of these conversations, the sense of unboundedness and spontaneity, but also the commitment to rigorous intellectual investigation, makes this book exceedingly exciting. Faith, Hope & Carnage will offer ladders of hope and inspiration to readers worldwide. Canongate is thrilled and proud to be publishing another book with Nick Cave."