Tom Hanks Joins 2017 Texas Book Festival

Oscar-winning actor will promote his book Uncommon Type

Courtesy of Austin Hargrave

You might say the Texas Book Festival is like a box of chocolates: You never know what you're gonna get. For instance, you might get Forrest Gump himself. At least, that's the case with the 2017 TBF. Tom Hanks will be making an appearance on Sat., Nov. 4, to promote his new book of short fiction, Uncommon Type: Some Stories.

Hanks – do I need to list his credits to you at this point? – hardly needs another hyphenate to tack onto his already extensive list of occupations (actor, director, producer, screenwriter, political activist), but "short story writer" is one he's been pursuing more than casually since 2014, when The New Yorker published his tale "Alan Bean Plus Four," about a group of friends who make a trip to the moon. That story attracted the attention of no less than Sonny Mehta, chairman of Alfred A. Knopf, who inked a deal with the emerging author for a short fiction collection. Hanks has been at work on the book for two years, and he's linked all 17 stories in Uncommon Type to typewriters, one of his passions (he owns more than 250 vintage machines). The book is set for release on Oct. 17, and you can read it for yourself or have the author read it to you in the audiobook format.

Less than three weeks after his book hits the shelves, Hanks will visit Austin to promote it. The festival has set him up to be interviewed by someone else who's had a thing or two published in The New Yorker, staff writer and local literati Lawrence Wright. Their conversation will take place Sat., Nov. 4, 4:30pm, at First Baptist Church, 901 Trinity. Tickets are required, but each $48 ticket admits one person and also includes one pre-signed copy of the book. A portion of ticket sales supports the Texas Book Festival's literacy programs.

For those folks not fortunate enough to be in Austin for the event, the Texas Book Festival has an option: a livestream to a selection of Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas in Texas – El Paso, Houston (Mason Park), Lubbock, Richardson – and around the country: Brooklyn; Denver (Sloans Lake); Kansas City, Mo.; and Chandler, Ariz. For ticket purchases and more information, visit the TBF website.

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