Stephen King to tackle JFK assassination for Hodder

Stephen King will look at President Kennedy's assassination as part of his latest novel, 11/22/63, which Hodder has acquired. Managing director Jamie Hodder-Williams bought UK and Commonwealth rights excluding Canada to the book from Chuck Verrill at Darhansoff & Verrill in New York.

The book will focus on Jake Epping, a 35-year-old high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine. His friend Al reveals that his storeroom is a portal to 1958, and enlists Jake on a mission to try to prevent the Kennedy assassination. Jake becomes George Amberson, and enters a world of Elvis and JFK, of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and high school librarian Sadie Dunhill, who becomes the love of Jake's life, "a life that transgresses all the normal rules of time".

Verrill said: "The novel is big, ambitious and haunting. King has probably absorbed the social, political and popular culture of his American generation as thoroughly and imaginatively as any other writer."

King's UK editor, Phillippa Pride, said: "11/22/63 is the best 'What if...?' novel I have ever read. Combining the best of Stephen King's intimate suspense stories with the scope of an epic, our number one bestselling, and much-loved author, has created a truly sensational read which will be THE book of 2011."

Hodder will publish in hardcover on 8th November 2011.