This Just In: The Next Stephen King

Ready for your next Stephen King? It’s a history twister, a 1000-page novel called 11/22/63 (Scribner, Nov. 8, 2011) that reimagines a world where John F. Kennedy has not been assassinated. But first, an unassuming 35-year-old high school teacher named Jake Epping must travel back in time‚ thanks to the storeroom at the diner run by buddy Al, which serves as a portal to 1958. Encouraged by Al to thwart the murderous intentions of Lee Harry Oswald, Jake enters the Fifties, renames himself George Amberson, and learns to love Elvis, sock hops, and a high school librarian named Sadie Dunhill. But we all know what happens when we try to change the past.
Publication of this book is a nice surprise because I’m just helping to plan events at LJ‘s Day of Dialog, held this year on Monday, May 23, the day before BookExpo America opens. One of our panels, tentatively titled Writing History, will focus on the effective treatment of facts in fiction and nonfiction alike. How do authors make history both appealing and true, why do they sometimes miswrite it, how do they talk about events they haven’t actually witnessed, how do they touch the raw nerve of real events without exploiting them? For that matter, why do we have to say history reads like a novel when history is as interesting as any novel? Why fictionalize events at all? We have some big authors planned, and we’ll keep you posted.
Gee, maybe we can ask Stephen King.

Barbara Hoffert About Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Prepub Alert; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president, treasurer, and awards chair of the National Book Critics Circle.


  1. Michael Lederman says:

    Dunno about this one but the last four of King’s books were horrible and I know I should have stopped reading after the first two horrible books but I kept telling myself that King would soon regain his original mojo. Alas after four failed attempts I have to assume he has lost it for good.

  2. Margaret Hetley says:

    Author’s name?

  3. Margaret Hetley says:

    Oops, scratch that. I thought she meant the next book that was LIKE Stephen King. Sorry.

  4. Tammy Scott says:

    I am so excited about reading this novel. Stephen King is a wonderful writer and the longer his books, the better. I have so many predictions about how he will make his new world come to life for us. Changing the past has always been a good platform, now to see a great crafter go to work.

  5. Tammy Scott says:

    This is going to be a fantastic read. SK has chosen a platform that will be hard to predict. I already have so many predictions on how he will mold his new world.