Author Thomas Harris, who created one of the most terrifying murderers in fiction with Hannibal Lecter, has announced that he is currently working on a new novel. Though he’s remaining tight-lipped when it comes to details, it has been confirmed that Hannibal Lecter won’t be making an appearance.
It has been over a decade since Harris’ last book, Hannibal Rising was released, but it looks like fans will soon have fresh content to keep them up at night. No specific details have been released and, in 2007, Harris’ agent Mort Janklow told Entertainment Weekly: “I have no idea what Tom’s next book will be. It may not involve the Hannibal character at all. His deal does not require that. He is an important American novelist and writes what he chooses, when he chooses.”
As The Guardian reports, the new novel was announced yesterday by publisher William Heinemann, and is set to be released on 21 May 2019. The publisher described it as “standalone”, and confirmed that it will not involve the infamous cannibal. A publisher at William Heinemann named Jason Arthur said: “There is no doubt in my mind that Thomas Harris remains one of the most notable writers of the last four decades, and the publication of his first novel in 13 years – his first non-Hannibal novel in over 40 – will be a significant publishing event.”
Harris has only published one book that didn’t revolve around Hannibal and that was his debut novel Black Sunday, which was published in 1975 and followed a planned terrorist attack on the Super Bowl. The character of Hannibal Lecter made his debut in the critically acclaimed Red Dragon. In an interview in 2000, Harris said he was “not comfortable in the presence of Dr Lecter, not sure at all that the doctor could not see me.”
The sequel, Silence of the Lambs was equally successful and Hannibal became a household name following the release of the 1991 movie adaptation starring Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins. Another sequel named Hannibal featured the character being tracked down in Italy and the latest novel, Hannibal Rising, told the story of Hannibal’s childhood.
Despite his fame, Harris likes to keep a low profile. He stated in 1991 that he doesn’t feel comfortable doing interviews and that he prefers to put his thoughts into his work. In a characteristically brief statement regarding the news abut his new book, Harris said he was “very pleased.”