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Paul McCartney biography shortlisted for Book of the Year award

'The Lyrics' recounts the musician's life and art through 154 songs

By Hollie Geraghty

Paul McCartney 'The Lyrics'
'The Lyrics' recounts McCartney's life and art through the prism of 154 songs. (Photo: YouTube).

Paul McCartney’s forthcoming biography ‘The Lyrics’ has been shortlisted for the Waterstones Book Of The Year award.

The book, which is due to be released on November 2, will cover the Beatles legend’s life through lyrics and song.

In ‘The Lyrics’ McCartney “recounts his life and art through the prism of 154 songs from all stages of his career” from boyhood, to the Beatles, Wings and his solo albums,” according to the artist’s website.

It will also be arranged alphabetically to provide a “kaleidoscopic rather than chronological account”, presented with materials from McCarthy’s personal archive including never before seen drafts, letters and photographs.

It’s among 13 titles nominated for the annual award, with the winner due to be announced on December 21.

In the book’s foreword, McCartney wrote: “‘More often than I can count, I’ve been asked if I would write an autobiography, but the time has never been right. 

“The one thing I’ve always managed to do, whether at home or on the road, is to write new songs. I know that some people, when they get to a certain age, like to go to a diary to recall day-to-day events from the past, but I have no such notebooks. 

“What I do have are my songs, hundreds of them, which I’ve learned serve much the same purpose. And these songs span my entire life.”

To coincide with the release, the British Library will host a free display called ‘Paul McCartney: The Lyrics’ from November 5 2021 to March 13 2022.

In August the musician revealed the names of the 154 songs that are featured in the book.

The former Beatles frontman also recently revealed that he is moving away from signing autographs.

In a recent interview with Reader’s Digest, he said that while he’s happy to have a conversation with fans, he’s not so keen on signatures and selfies.

“It always struck me as a bit strange,” he said. “‘Here, can I write your name down on the back of this till receipt please?’ Why? We both know who I am.”

He added that he would rather have a real connection with fans. “What you’ve usually got is a ropey photo with a poor backdrop and me looking a bit miserable,” he said. “Let’s chat, let’s exchange stories.”