Tom Hanks to Publish Story Collection

The Ladykillers star and typewriter enthusiast is also an author

Tom Hanks can now add publishing a book to his extensive resume. The actor has written a short story collection, titled Uncommon Type: Some Stories. It’s due out in October and is centered around his fascination with the typewriter. Wait, a typewriter-themed collection? Yes, that does sound a little odd, now that you mention it. According to publisher Alfred A Knopf, the seventeen narratives will include “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.”

How those snippets will relate to Hanks’ love of typewriters remains unclear, but perhaps his typewriter app, Hanx Writer, will make an appearance.

The collection isn’t Hanks’ first foray into fiction. His story “Alan Beam Plus Four” appeared in The New Yorker in 2014. While the piece probably won’t change the way you think about art, it’s certainly a far more professional attempt at craft and narrative than the literature churned out by some of Hanks’ colleagues in Hollywood. To name just a few of our favorites:

— Paradise Alley: A Novel, by Sylvester Stallone, 1978: It’s a novelization of his own film. Also the title.

Holy Cow: A Novel, by David Duchovny, 2015: This novel is from the perspective of a cow.

— Propeller One-Way Night Coach: A Fable for All Ages, by John Travolta, 1997: A children’s book written and illustrated by John Travolta, who likely had no training or experience writing or illustrating children’s books.

— Palo Alto, by James Franco, 2010: By most accounts not a terribly written collection of stories. However, Franco’s decision to star in the film adaptation of his own collection pretty much nullifies any sort of goodwill.

Then again, Hanks did recently make a movie with Sam Shepard — the actor, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, and author of the acclaimed short story collections, Cruising Paradise and Day out of Days. Maybe Hanks will follow that path rather than the one blazed by Stallone and Franco? We’ll soon see.

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