Picture Books

Authors like John Lennon

John Lennon


In His Own Write is a nonsense book by English musician John Lennon. It was first published in March 1964 by Jonathan Cape. The book consists of poems, short stories and illustrations.

Lennon's writing style is informed by his interest in English writer Lewis Carroll, while his humour is inspired by humorists Spike Milligan and "Professor" Stanley Unwin. His illustrations imitate the style of cartoonist James Thurber. Most of the poems and short stories were written for the book, though some had been published years earlier in the Liverpool music publication Mersey Beat.

The book was a critical success, earning praise for its imaginative use of wordplay. Reviewers favourably compared it to the later works of Irish writer James Joyce, though Lennon was unfamiliar with him. Released amidst Beatlemania, its publication reinforced perceptions of Lennon as "the smart one" of the Beatles, furthered by his depiction in their 1964 film A Hard Day's Night. Later commentators have seen the book's style as anticipating Lennon's later songwriting, in songs like "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" and "I Am the Walrus".