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Julian Assange will not publish memoir, probably

July 7, 2011 |  7:48 am


Julian Assange has changed his mind about the $1.5-million book deal he signed with U.K. publisher Canongate and U.S. publisher Alfred A. Knopf to write his memoirs. Initially, Assange said he hoped the book "would become one of the unifying documents of our generation." Now reports say the Wikileaks founder has decided against going forward with the book, concerned that a memoir might feed court cases against him.

The Guardian reports:

According to publishing sources, however, the contract has fallen through, at least in its original form, after Assange indicated he no longer wished to write the kind of book that was initially envisaged.

He is thought to have told publishers that the book, ghostwritten by the novelist Andrew O'Hagan, could give ammunition to US prosecutors, whom he fears may seek his extradition on terrorist charges relating to WikiLeaks disclosures.

A spokeswoman for the Canongate said the publisher would not discuss the book "until it is ready to", and would not make any statement until after next week, when the Australian will appear at the high court in London to appeal against a ruling in February that he should be extradited.

A spokeswoman for Canongate told the Guardian that the deal was still "very much alive," while Assange, his agent and co-writer O'Hagan declined to comment on the deal that has reportedly "fallen through."


Wikileaks' Julian Assange will write memoir

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Julian Assange in England in December. Credit: Paul Hackett / Reuters