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(Credit: Daniel Hazard)


Bono announces new memoir ‘Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story’

Charismatic U2 frontman Bono has announced his literary debut with the news that his memoir, Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story, is to be released in November.

The 576-page book will hit the shelves on November 1st via publisher Alfred A Knopf with an audiobook available from Penguin Random House. As hinted by the title, the memoir focuses on the personal origins of 40 milestone U2 songs. Each chapter is named for the song it addresses, with Bono’s life story chronicled in the discussion throughout. 

As detailed by a press release, Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story looks to detail not just Bono’s musical journey but also the critical moments in his life that led to and accompanied his successful career.

The book spans “from his early days growing up in Dublin, including the sudden loss of his mother when he was 14, to U2’s unlikely journey to become one of the world’s most influential rock bands, to his 20 years of activism dedicated to the fight against AIDS and extreme poverty”.

Bono, who recently celebrated his 62nd birthday, shared an early extract from his upcoming memoir in the form of narrated animation. The reading was taken from the chapter named ‘Out Of Control’, where he describes the creation of the Ramones-inspired 1979 single. The reading can be streamed below. 

“When I started to write this book, I was hoping to draw in detail what I’d previously only sketched in songs,” Bono said in a statement issued with the announcement of Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story. “The people, places, and possibilities in my life. Surrender is a word freighted with meaning for me. Growing up in Ireland in the seventies with my fists up (musically speaking), it was not a natural concept.”

He added: “A word I only circled until I gathered my thoughts for the book. I am still grappling with this most humbling of commands. In the band, in my marriage, in my faith, in my life as an activist. Surrender is the story of one pilgrim’s lack of progress… with a fair amount of fun along the way.”

In another statement, Bono’s editor, Reagan Arthur, added: “All of the passion that Bono brings to his music and his life he also brings to the page. Seven years ago another legend, the late Knopf editor Sonny Mehta, acquired the book, because he knew Bono fits into the tradition of literary Irish storytellers, and we were lucky to have Sonny’s notes on an early draft of the manuscript.”

Adding: “We’re luckier still that Bono not only has a dramatic personal history to tell, but he’s also a truly gifted writer. Surrender is honest, intimate, irreverent, and profound – a dazzling memoir of a remarkable life.”