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Ethan Hawke to release ‘A Bright Ray Of Darkness’, his first book in nearly 20 years

The actor has a new book on the way in 2021.

Ethan Hawke
Credit: Sam Jones

Actor, writer and director Ethan Hawke will release ‘A Bright Ray of Darkness’, his first book in nearly 20 years in 2021.

The novel’s UK and Commonwealth rights have been acquired by William Heinemann Publisher Jason Arthur from Fiona Baird at WME Agency.

The novel is about art and love, fame and heartbreak – a blistering story of a young man making his Broadway debut just as his marriage implodes.

A bracing meditation on fame and celebrity, and the redemptive, healing power of art; a portrait of the ravages of disappointment and divorce; a poignant consideration of the rites of fatherhood and manhood; a novel soaked in rage and sex, longing and despair; and a passionate love letter to the world of theatre, ‘A Bright Ray of Darkness’ showcases Ethan Hawke’s gifts as a novelist as never before.

Hawke’s narrator is a young man in torment, disgusted with himself after the collapse of his marriage, still half-hoping for a reconciliation that would allow him to forgive himself and move on as he clumsily, and sometimes hilariously, tries to manage the wreckage of his personal life with whisky and sex. What saves him is the theatre: in particular, the challenge of performing Shakespeare in his Broadway debut under the leadership of a brilliant director. Searing, raw, and utterly transfixing, ‘A Bright Ray of Darkness’ is a novel about shame and beauty and faith, and the moral power of art.

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. I’m delighted to welcome Ethan to William Heinemann, and very much look forward to publishing ‘A Bright Ray of Darkness’ in February.’

Hawkes’ previous books include ‘Rules for a Knight’, ‘The Hottest State’ and ‘Ash Wednesday’.

‘A Bright Ray of Darkness’ will be published by William Heinemann in hardback, ebook and audio on 2nd February 2021, and will be published simultaneously in the US by Knopf, and in paperback in 2022.


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