From Scott comes this rumor that Pynchon has a new book out in December from Viking, set in 1897 Chicago. There is nothing currently listed at the Amazon site, nor on the Penguin site, but the Wikipedia Pynchon entry notes:
It has been rumored that Pynchon’s next book will be about the life and loves of Sofia Kovalevskaya, whom he allegedly studied in Germany. The former German minister of culture Michael Naumann has stated that he assisted Pynchon in his research about “a Russian mathematician [who] studied for David Hilbert in Göttingen”. Information from Penguin Press (Viking) places the new novel’s publication date as December 2006.
Of course, since we have nothing here that has been confirmed, it’s best to treat all this information as rumor or conjecture. I will be making calls this morning to see if I can confirm anything. I’ve also sent an email to Paul Slovak.
[UPDATE: There is some kind of Pynchon book being handled by The Penguin Press, not Viking. My contacts at Viking expressed some familiarity with it (one even confirming December publication), without actually telling me what it was. I have a call into Penguin Press people and, as soon as I learn more, I will report it here.]
[UPDATE 2: I’ve spoken with Tracy Locke. She has confirmed that The Penguin Press is publishing a Pynchon book in December 2006, but will not reveal any further information at this time. There isn’t yet a title for the book.]
[RELATED: Darby Dixon III and Bud Parr on reading Pynchon. For those who are new to Pynchon, I suggest the following reading order: V., Gravity’s Rainbow, Mason & Dixon and, once you’ve been thoroughly seduced, Slow Learner to see how it all started. I have not actually read The Crying of Lot 49 or Vineland, hoping to save these books for a very special occasion. Although, strangely, I’ve read all of Gaddis multiple times.]
[UPDATE: I can’t even begin to imagine where John Freeman got his information from, can you?]