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Hole singer and sometime actress Courtney Love is collaborating with bestselling rock scribe Anthony Bozza, coauthor of Slash and Tommy Lee’s Tommyland, on a memoir for publisher William Morrow due in stores fall 2012. The publisher’s statement says “Love finally sets the record straight” on her tumultuous family history, marriage with Kurt Cobain, drug woes, relationships with Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan and Edward Norton, and Hollywood life. Why is she writing a book now?
1. She has spent 19 years trying to get a book to define her own identity. In 1992, Love asked Melissa Rossi to write a biography to refute Vanity Fair‘s negative profile of Love. She then withdrew cooperation and Rossi wrote the unauthorized 1996 bio Queen of Noise. Love heavily supported Poppy Z. Brite’s puffy 1997 Courtney Love: The Real Story. When Love’s mother Linda Carroll published her memoir Her Mother’s Daughter in 2006, and Love then published Dirty Blonde: The Diaries of Courtney Love a few months later, Love’s editor said, “It’s not intended as any kind of reply to her mother’s book.” Love’s negative comments to The Hollywood Reporter regarding her mother’s account suggest that Love’s forthcoming memoir may well be intended as, at least in part, a reply to her mother’s book. In any case, Dirty Blonde was a sloppy scrapbook, not a proper memoir. Love has never fully told her own story in a coherent book all her own. Now she clearly intends to.
2. It’s the 20th anniversary of grunge and she’s jealous for attention. Pearl Jam is riding high and getting kudos from Cameron Crowe‘s new doc Pearl Jam Twenty, which has a spinoff book. Duff McKagan, a Seattle rock star who found fame with Guns N’ Roses and was among the last people to speak with Cobain before his 1994 suicide, just published his surprisingly literate memoir, It’s So Easy and Other Lies. Cobain’s heroin dealer Tom Hansen is shopping his grunge memoir American Junkie in Hollywood. Mark Yarm just published Everybody Loves Our Town, a grunge oral history in which Love complains that Eddie Vedder‘s Time Magazine cover should have been Cobain’s. Yarm also quotes several sources debunking Love’s claim that she first met Cobain in Portland before he was a star. One says that she dumped Corgan for rising star Cobain. “I didn’t dump Billy to go out with Kurt,” Love says in Yarm’s book. “We didn’t want her to be seen as a gold digger,” says writer Everett True in the book. “Courtney, how should we say, had a talent for being slightly liberal with the truth.” She can have more control over the narrative of her own book.
3. There’s more money in writing books than devoting your time to obsessive Twitter posts. This year, one of Love’s Twitter posts cost her a $430,000 legal settlement. There’s no word on how much her book advance was. But it has to make her more than Twitter, and everybody needs an editor.
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