First book of John Lennon letters to be published

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Yoko Ono has granted permission for the first collection of letters by John Lennon to be published, publisher Little, Brown and Company said on Friday.

The book, titled “The Lennon Letters,” will be published in October, 2012 and include hundreds of letters and postcards the late Beatle wrote to friends, family, newspapers and organizations, the publisher said in a statement.

It will be edited by British journalist Hunter Davies, who wrote the only authorized biography of The Beatles. The letters will be arranged in chronological order to give a sense of the musician’s life.

“For the first time, John Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, has given permission to publish a selection of his letters,” the publisher said in a statement, describing the book as “an international publishing event.”

Lennon was murdered outside his New York apartment building in December 198O by deranged fan Mark David Chapman. He was 40.

Lennon’s letters were in tone “funny, informative, campaigning, wise, mad, poetic, anguished and sometimes heartbreaking,” the statement said and added the letters will be reproduced as they were made, in Lennon’s handwriting or typing, as well as “the odd cartoon or doodle.”

A spokeswoman for Little, Brown and Company did not give any specific examples of letters to be included in the book, nor how many were in Ono’s possession. Over the years many of Lennon’s letters have been sold to dealers and collectors at auctions around the world.

In Britain the book will be published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson.

Reporting by Christine Kearney, editing by Jill Serjeant