Thomas Pynchon — notorious recluse, occasional Simpsons joke, and perhaps America's greatest living writer — is releasing a novel in 2013, and the word leaked in pretty reclusive fashion.
Everyone started freaking out Monday morning when Publishers Marketplace's Sarah Weinman tweeted about the new Pynchon book, Bleeding Edge, to be released in the U.S. on September 17. How could she know?! Where did she get her scoop? Well, turns out Penguin announced Pynchon's latest as a line item — there was no press release, no big to-do, no exclusive, just a part of the publisher's 2012 year-end financial report, which doesn't appear to be online yet.
The book is about the early 21st century tech scene in New York City. According to the log line from the reports' preview, "it is 2001 in Silicon Alley, New York City, in the lull between the collapse of the dot-com boom and the terrible events of September 11." So: crazy Gravity's Rainbow-style combinations of technology and military might, right? Well, as celebrated as Pynchon may be, Gravity's Rainbow got its would-be Pulitzer pulled back, and critics are already kind of dampening expectations. The former National Book Award winner wrote a string of classic novels in the 1960s and 1970s, sure, but his last novel, 2009's Inherent Vice, "got mixed reviews," The New York Times was quick to remind everyone. Well! Hopefully Edge is better than that pile of crap, then. We're still excited. Everyone else should be, frankly.