Nick Cave will share his perspective on the years following his son’s death in a new book, it has been announced.
Drawn from more than 40 hours of interviews with the Observer journalist Sean O’Hagan, Faith, Hope and Carnage will cover the Australian rock singer’s personal life over the last six years, and meditate on ideas such as faith, art and grief.
Cave’s 15-year-old son Arthur died in July 2015 when he fell from a cliff in Brighton after experimenting with LSD. Since then, the singer has given very few interviews, but a period of reflection spurred by last year’s Covid-19 lockdowns led to the creation of this book, which is described by its publisher Canongate as “a tribute to stillness”.
“It has been a strange, anchoring pleasure to talk to Sean O’Hagan through these uncertain times”, said Cave. He also commented that, after 40 hours of interview, “that should do me for the duration, I think”, indicating that he does not plan to speak further about this period of his life.
O’Hagan, who has known Cave for 30 years, said: “This is a book of intimate and often surprising conversations in which Nick Cave talks honestly about his life, his music and the dramatic transformation of both wrought by personal tragedy.”
“It provides deep insight into the singular mind of one of the most original and challenging artists of our time – as well as exploring the complex dynamic between faith and doubt that underpins his work.”
Cave has written several books in the past, including two novels and 2015’s The Sick Bag Song, which told the story of a North American tour with his band the Bad Seeds. Cave also wrote the screenplays for two of John Hillcoat’s films, The Proposition and Lawless.
Since 2018, Cave has been using his weekly newsletter The Red Hand Files to answer questions directly from his fans about everything from his favourite bar to his relationship with his wife. He also launched Cave Things in 2020, a website selling “things conceived, sourced, shaped and designed by Nick Cave”.
Faith, Hope and Carnage is due to be published in Autumn 2022.