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Tom Hanks to Publish Debut Short Story Collection

Variety logo Variety 2/21/2017 Dave McNary
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Tom Hanks is teaming with Alfred A. Knopf to publish his first short story collection titled “Uncommon Type: Some Stories”

Hanks will also narrate an audiobook from Random House Audio. Each of the 17 stories is related to a typewriter. Hanks owns more than 100 typewriters, though he wrote the stories on a laptop.

The stories include a man immigrating to New York City after fleeing a civil war; a bowler who becomes an ESPN star after a string of perfect games; a billionaire and his assistant; and an actor enduring a life of press junkets.

“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,” Hanks said in a statement. “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.”

The story was first reported by EW.com. Knopf Chairman and Editor-in-Chief Sonny Mehta said, “I read a story by Tom in the New Yorker several years ago, 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 told EW that the inspiration for the stories came about from distant memories and haunting questions: “What would you see at the 1939 Worlds Fair that would change your life? I remember a ride in a small plane when I was 7 years old — why was it was confusing? How did a veteran of WWII celebrate Christmas in say, 1953?”

Hanks’ short story “Alan Bean Plus Four,” which centered on four friends making a trip around the Moon, was published by the New Yorker in 2014.

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