William Heinemann to publish Tom Hanks short stories

William Heinemann to publish Tom Hanks short stories

Cornerstone imprint William Heinemann is publishing a collection of short stories from actor Tom Hanks, anticipated to be a "major publishing event" for PRH this autumn.

Hanks, who began writing the book in 2015, presents 17 stories in the book: one is about an immigrant arriving in New York City after his family and life have been torn apart by his country’s civil war; another about a man who bowls a perfect game (and then another, and another) becoming the ESPN cable channel’s newest celebrity; another about an eccentric billionaire and his faithful executive assistant on the hunt for something larger in America; and a further story about the life of an actor. 

Susan Sandon, m.d. of Cornerstone, who acquired UK and Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) in Uncommon Type: Some Stories by Hanks, with William Heinemann publisher Jason Arthur, said they had read the stories with "mounting excitement" and offered within hours of submission. The deal was struck with Suzanne Smith at Knopf, Penguin Random House in New York.

Arthur added: “Uncommon Type is uncommonly full of compelling voices and utterly memorable characters. With these astonishingly accomplished, vivid and vital stories, Tom Hanks proves himself to be an exuberant writing talent and an exciting new voice in fiction.”

Each of the short stories has, in some way, involved a different typewriter, according to Cornerstone - since Hanks, an avid collector of vintage typewriters, owns over 100 of them. The collection was also written in countries all over the world and on flights in between, in order to keep to schedule. 

Hanks commented: "In the two years of working on the stories, I made movies in New York, Berlin, Budapest, and Atlanta and wrote in all of them. I wrote in hotels during press tours. I wrote on vacation. I wrote on planes, at home, and in the office. When I could actually make a schedule, and keep to it, I wrote in the mornings from 9 to 1.”

Uncommon Type will be published this October in hardcover, e-book and in audio with Tom Hanks reading. 

Publication will be simultaneous with Knopf in the US. Rights have also sold in Canada, Japan, China, Germany, Italy, Brazil and the Netherlands.