PJ Harvey to publish debut book in 2015

PJ Harvey
PJ Harvey performs in 2011. The musician announced a new show at the Fonda Theater Aug. 19.
(Jordi Vidal / Redferns)

PJ Harvey is working on her debut book for Bloomsbury, the publisher announced Monday. But don’t expect a straightforward memoir from the rocker, one of the singular voices that emerged in the 1990s.

The book “The Hollow of the Hand” will feature poetry by Harvey and photographs by Seamus Murphy. For the project, the two traveled to Afghanistan, Kosovo and Washington, D.C.

“Gathering information from secondary sources felt too far removed for what I was trying to write about,” Harvey said in a statement. “I wanted to smell the air, feel the soil and meet the people of the countries I was fascinated with. My friend Seamus Murphy and I agreed to grow a project together – I would collect words, he would collect pictures, following our instincts on where we should go.”

Harvey is best known for her albums “To Bring You My Love” and “Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea.” In 2013, she was awarded Britain’s MBE for services to music.


Her recent record, “Let England Shake,” a political take on the nation and its bloody history, won the 2011 Mercury Prize. In 2001, she won the Mercury Prize the first time for “Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea” but wasn’t able to accept it in person -- she had been on tour and was in Washington, D.C., during the Sept. 11 attacks.

Harvey was spotted in Washington, D.C., this spring. Although she didn’t reveal that she was working on a book, a report in the Washington Post hints that she was there for this project. She and Murphy had dinner with a family from Afghanistan, who told the paper they’d met previously in Afghanistan when the pair had been there studying the country’s poets and poetry.

Harvey and Murphy’s “The Hollow of the Hand” will be published in the U.K. and U.S. in fall 2015.

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