William Heinemann to publish Tom Hanks
Susan Sandon, Managing Director of Cornerstone and Jason Arthur, Publisher of William Heinemann have acquired UK and Commonwealth Rights (exc. Canada) in Uncommon Type: Some Stories by Tom Hanks. The deal was struck with Suzanne Smith at Knopf, Penguin Random House in New York.
Uncommon Type will be published this October in hardcover, ebook and in audio with Tom Hanks reading. Publication will be simultaneous with Knopf in the US and in addition, rights have already been sold in Canada, Japan, China, Germany, Italy, Brazil and the Netherlands.
Uncommon Type features seventeen stories, each in some way involving a different typewriter (Hanks is an avid collector of vintage typewriters and owns over one hundred of them). In the book, there is a story 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 ESPN’s newest celebrity; another about an eccentric billionaire and his faithful executive assistant on the hunt for something larger in America; and another about the junket life of an actor.
“I read a story by Tom in The New Yorker several years ago,” said Sonny Mehta, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Alfred A. Knopf. , “and was struck by both his remarkable voice and command as a writer. I had hoped there might be more stories in the works. Happily, for readers, it turns out there were.”
Hanks began writing the book in 2015. “In the two years of working on the stories,” said Hanks, “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.”
Jason Arthur says, “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.”
Susan Sandon says, “We read these wonderful stories with mounting excitement and offered within hours of Suzanne’s submission. This will be a major publication for us this autumn, indeed a major publishing event.”