Tom Hanks to publish short stories inspired by vintage typewriters

The Oscar-winning actor and filmmaker has been collecting manual typewriters since the '70s

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The Independent Culture

Tom Hanks can now add “published author” to his CV (underneath Oscar-winning actor, producer, director and writer). The celebrated filmmaker has landed a book deal for a collection of short stories inspired by his love of vintage typewriters.

"I've been collecting typewriters for no particular reason since 1978 - both manual and portable machines dating from the 30s to the 90s," Hanks, 58, said in a statement.

"The stories are not about the typewriters themselves, but rather, the stories are something that might have been written on one of them."

Publisher Alfred A. Knopf announced the news of the impending volume, which will include photographs, and is as yet untitled, yesterday. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed and a publication date has not been set.

Hanks, who recently published his first work of fiction in the New Yorker magazine titled Alan Bean Plus Four, has written previously of his affection for vintage typewriters.

“The tactile pleasure of typing old school is incomparable to what you get from a de rigueur laptop,” Hanks wrote in an article for The New York Times in August 2013.

He continued: “Everything you type on a typewriter sounds grand, the words forming in mini-explosions of SHOOK SHOOK SHOOK. A thank-you note resonates with the same heft as a literary masterpiece.”

Hanks won best actor Academy Awards in 1994 for Philadelphia and the following year for Forrest Gump.

When asked why he is writing fiction after a successful acting career, Hanks told The New York Times: “I’ve been around great storytellers all my life and, like an enthusiastic student, I want to tell some of my own.”

Hanks, who made his Broadway debut in Nora Ephron’s Lucky Guy last year, wrote of his disappointment that the play, set in 1985, featured word processors on the newsroom desks rather than typewriters. 

“We in the ensemble would have loved to pound on bulky desk-crowding typewriters for the sound alone,” he said.

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