The long wait could be over for Thomas Pynchon fans. His first novel in nearly a decade is coming out in the US on December 5.
But the release, as with so much else about the elusive author of contemporary classics such as The Crying of Lot 49 and Gravity's Rainbow, is shrouded in mystery. Since the 1997 release of Mason & Dixon, a characteristically broad novel which followed the travails of two 18th-century astronomers charting the disputed borderline between Pennsylvania and Maryland, new writings by Pynchon have been limited to the occasional review or essay, such as his introduction for a reissue of George Orwell's 1984. He has, of course, continued to shun the media and avoid photographers, though he has turned up twice on The Simpsons, appearing in one episode with a bag over his head.