News | Penguin Random House | New York, London, 10/07/2020

Penguin Random House To Publish New Novel By Ethan Hawke

On February 2, 2021, Penguin Random House will publish “A Bright Ray Of Darkness,” a new novel by Hollywood star Ethan Hawke, in the English-speaking world. Hawke’s first novel in 20 years tells the story of a young man who is about to achieve his professional breakthrough on Broadway, while in his personal life, his marriage is falling apart

Ethan Hawke is one of the world’s most famous actors. For the past 30 years he has starred in Hollywood blockbusters including “Dead Poets Society,” “Gattaca,” “Training Day,” “Total Recall,” and “Boyhood.” The multi-talented, four-time Academy Award nominee also works in theater and TV, as an actor, screenwriter, director, and producer. Besides movies, he also loves the written word: Ethan Hawke has already written five books – three novels, a graphic novel, and a guidebook. The latter, “Rules for a Knight,” sold more than 100,000 copies in 2015. Now Penguin Random House has announced a new novel by Ethan Hawke, “A Bright Ray Of Darkness,” to be published on February 2, 2021. In the U.S. alone, Knopf will publish the book with a first printing of 75,000 copies, and in the U.K. it will be published by William Heinemann. At the same time, Penguin Random House Audio will publish the audiobook version, read by Ethan Hawke himself.

“A Bright Ray Of Darkness,” Ethan Hawke’s first novel in 20 years, tells the story of a young man at a pivotal point in his life. Professionally, he is about to make his Broadway debut in Shakespeare’s “Henry IV,” while personally his marriage is falling apart. “It is a novel soaked in rage and sex and longing and despair, a ferociously intelligent evisceration of fame and celebrity, and a transfixing backstage glimpse into the magic of New York theater,” says Jordan Pavlin, Senior Vice President and Editorial Director at Knopf.

Ethan Hawke has deep personal knowledge of his subject matter: He made his Broadway debut in 1992 in “The Seagull” by Anton Chekhov and appeared in a total of five Broadway plays, most recently in “True West” by Sam Shepard. In 2007 he received a prestigious Tony Award nomination for his performance in Tom Stoppard’s three-part play “The Coast of Utopia.” William Heinemann publisher Jason Arthur says: “Reading ‘A Bright Ray of Darkness’ was a revelation – deft, compelling and intellectually curious, the writing is rich, lyrical and very rewarding. Ethan has written a novel of genuine complexity, one that is blisteringly honest about the pain endured when a marriage unravels under the intense gaze of the media.”