"Society only likes dead artists," John Lennon once wrote in a heartbreaking letter. "I'm afraid Yoko and myself cannot oblige." That note was scooped up by a private collector for $13,000, but soon some 200 other letters, postcards, and doodles of Lennon's will be available to the public in a new book published next year. Yoko Ono has finally given her permission for publication, and will help Lennon biographer Hunter Davies compile the book, reports the Guardian. He'll use Ono's own archives and letters from private collections, but is also actively seeking any correspondence from Lennon's countless friends and pen pals.
"Pen and ink were his medium," said a spokesman for publisher Little, Brown. "John wrote letters and postcards all of his life to his friends, family, strangers, newspapers, organizations, lawyers and the laundry—most of which were funny, informative, campaigning, wise, mad, poetic, anguished and sometimes heartbreaking." The letters will be printed in chronological order "so that a narrative builds up," and many will be reproduced exactly in Lennon's handwriting or typing, along with "the odd cartoon or doodle," said the publisher.