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New Hunger Games novel a prequel: author

hunger games prequel

A decade after seeming to wrap up The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins is bringing readers back to her fictional world of Panem.

A prequel, set 64 years before the beginning of her multimillion-selling trilogy, is coming next year.

The currently untitled novel is scheduled for release on May 19, 2020, Collins said in a statement Monday.

The prequel would go back to the years following the so-called "Dark Days", the failed rebellion in Panem.

Collins set the Hunger Games books in a post-apocalyptic dystopia where young people must fight and kill each other on live television.

"With this book, I wanted to explore the state of nature, who we are, and what we perceive is required for our survival," she said.

"The reconstruction period 10 years after the war, commonly referred to as the Dark Days - as the country of Panem struggles back to its feet - provides fertile ground for characters to grapple with these questions and thereby define their views of humanity."

The book is set well before the lifetime of Hunger Games heroine Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence in the billion-dollar movie franchise.

Scholastic spokeswoman Tracy van Straaten declined comment on the new book's contents or featured characters beyond what's described in Monday's announcement.

"Suzanne Collins is a master at combining brilliant storytelling, superb world building, breathtaking suspense, and social commentary," Scholastic Trade Publishing President Ellie Berger said in a statement.

"We are absolutely thrilled - as both readers and publishers - to introduce the devoted fans of the series and a new audience to an entirely new perspective on this modern classic."

Lionsgate released the four "Hunger Games" movies, and the studio's vice chairman, Michael Burns, has suggested a prequel.

The first three Hunger Games books - The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay - have sold more than 100 million copies and have been translated into more than 50 languages.

The very title The Hunger Games has become a catchphrase for suffering and deadly competition, inspiring such headlines as "Trump's $1 trillion (infrastructure) plan inspires 'Hunger Games' angst."

Although she was actively involved with the production of the Hunger Games films, Collins appeared done with the novels after the publication of Mockingjay in 2010.

She had said little about her plans in recent years, beyond telling a gathering at the 2013 BookExpo publishing convention that she was working on a new series.

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