Faber to mark 2022 centenary of The Waste Land with new publishing

Faber to mark 2022 centenary of The Waste Land with new publishing

Faber will mark the centenary of T S Eliot's landmark poem "The Waste Land" in 2022 with new publishing and a “riveting” work of non-fiction by biographer and the publisher's poetry editor Matthew Hollis.

The Waste Land: T S Eliot, Ezra Pound and the Making of a Masterpiece will be released in September 2022 and sees Hollis reconstruct the genesis of the 1922 poem and bring its times “vividly to life”.

Faber said: “He tells the story of the cultural and personal trauma that forged the poem through the interleaved lives of its protagonists – of Ezra Pound, who edited it, of Vivien Eliot, who endured it, and of T S Eliot himself, whose private torment is woven into the fabric of the work. The result is an engrossing story of lives passing in opposing directions: Eliot’s into redemptive stardom, Vivien’s into isolated despair, Pound’s into unforgiving darkness.”

In association with the T S Eliot Foundation, Faber has also commissioned a new recording of the poem, narrated by Edoardo Ballerini. Poems in this recording also include “The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock”, “Portrait of a Lady”, “The Boston Evening Transcript”, “The Hollow Men”, “Journey of the Magi” and “Animula”. The audiobook will be published on 4th January 2022 to mark the beginning of the centenary year and to coincide with the anniversary of Eliot’s death.

Clare Reihill, of the T S Eliot Foundation, said: “Edoardo Ballerini is widely regarded as the brightest star of the audiobook era, one of the finest readers of literature alive today. He is a performer whose name alone can draw audiences to an audiobook – 'the Vladimir Horowitz of audiobooks', as the New York Times has called him. The son of the poet Luigi Ballerini, he has recorded, to great acclaim, Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle and Tolstoy’s War and Peace, among many others. We are thrilled to have him record 'The Waste Land' to mark this landmark poem’s centenary.”

In addition, to celebrate 50 years of the facsimile, Faber will publish a new edition of The Waste Land: A Facsimile and Transcript of the Original Drafts on 3rd February 2022, in which Eliot’s own pages of typescript and manuscript are published in “startling” full colour for the first time. Edited by the poet’s widow, Valerie Eliot, this new edition is a reissue, with corrections, of the text of the 1980 reprint, and includes an appendix of original materials not previously made available.

Alex Bowler, Faber publisher, said: “2022 will be a year of celebration, led by Matthew Hollis’ surpassing 'biography' of the poem. The perfect match of author and subject, it will reilluminate the poem, shedding new light on what we think we know of 'The Waste Land' and its making. Likewise, the revised colour facsimile edition will provide a depth of new information and understanding for those readers most familiar with the work, while the new audio editions will be sure to bring a fresh audience to this most enduring masterpiece, which lies at the radical heart of Faber’s story.”