Tom Hanks, winner of two Oscars and four Golden Globes for acting, is firmly established as cinematic royalty. Now, he’s set to make his first major foray into the literary universe, joining other actors who have written fiction, including James Franco (“Palo Alto’’). Steve Martin (“Shopgirl’’ and “An Object of Beauty’’), and David Duchovny (“Bucky [Expletive] Dent’’). Publisher Alfred A. Knopf announced Monday that it will release a collection of Hanks’s short stories in October.
Titled “Uncommon Type,” the book will be made up of 17 different tales, each involving a typewriter in some way (Hanks is the proud owner of more than 100 vintage typewriters). The narratives will range from an immigrant fleeing his war torn country for New York City to the trials of a bowler who suddenly becomes famous thanks to a streak of perfect games.
Although this will be Hanks’s debut book, the actor isn’t a total newcomer to writing. Knopf editor in chief Sonny Mehta first approached Hanks about the project after reading a short story of his that was published in The New Yorker in October 2014. “[I] was struck by both his remarkable voice and command as a writer,” said Mehta in a press release. “I had hoped there might be more stories in the works. Happily for readers, it turns out there were.”
While Hanks is not widely known as a fiction writer, he does have a number of writing credits in TV and movies, including work on the television miniseries “Band of Brothers” and 2011 feature film “Larry Crowne.”
Hanks apparently banged out the short stories in whatever free time he had over the past couple of years. “I wrote in hotels during press tours. I wrote on vacation. I wrote on planes, at home, and in the office,” he said in a statement. “When I could actually make a schedule, and keep to it, I wrote in the mornings from nine to one.”
Alex Frandsen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.