Tom Hanks to publish book inspired by his love of typewriters

Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks has struck a publishing deal for a book of short stories he wrote inspired by his collection of vintage typewriters.

The Forrest Gump star owns more than 100 typewriters and had talked in the past about his intention to write an anthology of stories about them, which he has now agreed with William Heinemann, part of the Penguin Random House publishing company.

Tom, 60, began writing Uncommon Type: Some Stories in 2015 after announcing his plans to become an author in 2014.

He said: “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 nine to one.”

Uncommon Type includes a tale 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 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.

Sonny Mehta, chairman and editor-in-chief of another Penguin Random House division Alfred A. Knopf, 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.”

William Heinemann publisher Jason Arthur said: “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.”

Captain Phillips actor Tom published his first work of fiction, a sci-fi story called Alan Bean Plus Four, in The New Yorker magazine in 2014 and said at the time: “I’ve been around great storytellers all my life. Like an enthusiastic student, I want to tell some of my own.”

He added that the stories he was planning “are not about the typewriters themselves, but… something that might have been written on one of them.”

The star also said in 2014: “I’ve been collecting typewriters for no particular reason since 1978 – both manual and portable machines.”

He launched Hanx Writer in August 2014, an iOS app that recreates the experience of using an old-fashioned typewriter on an iPad, which reached number one in the App Store.

Uncommon Type: Some Stories is due to be published in the autumn.

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