Scholastic is celebrating The Hunger Games’ 10th anniversary in style.
The publisher has exclusively shared with EW a preview of its special edition package for Suzanne Collins’ best-selling trilogy. It will include more than 50 pages of new content, including the most extensive interview Collins has given since the publication of The Hunger Games, an archival conversation between Collins and YA phenom Walter Dean Myers on writing about war, and a timeline of highlights from the first 10 years of The Hunger Games, from the first book’s publication to the aftermath of the final film’s release.
“Even a decade after its publication, it’s amazing to discover there are still new things to be learned about The Hunger Games,” David Levithan, vice president and editorial director of Scholastic, said in a statement. “What I love about the special edition is that it answers many questions fans have had over the years, and also gives great insight into how Suzanne created such an era-defining work.”
More than 100 million copies of The Hunger Games trilogy have been sold. The series, set in the dystopian nation of Panem and centered on young warrior Katniss Everdeen, was adapted into a set of successful films that helped to launch the career of Jennifer Lawrence. The fourth and final movie, Mockingjay, was released in 2015.
EW can exclusively reveal the new cover art for each of the three Hunger Games books’ 10th-anniversary edition, as well as how they’ll appear in the boxed set and how the special edition will appear in paperback. In addition, Scholastic has shared an excerpt of Collins’ extensive interview with Levithan, about how Katniss came to be. Check out the material below. The Hunger Games Special Edition will be released Oct. 30.
Excerpt from The Hunger Games Special Edition, by Suzanne Collins
David Levithan: Another key piece of The Hunger Games is the voice and perspective that Katniss brings to it. I know some novelists start with a character and then find a story through that character, but with The Hunger Games (and correct me if I’m wrong) I believe you had the idea for the story first, and then Katniss stepped into it. Where did she come from? I’d love for you to talk about the origin of her name, and also the origin of her very distinctive voice.
Suzanne Collins: Katniss appeared almost immediately after I had the idea, standing by the bed with that bow and arrow. I’d spent a lot of time during The Underland Chronicles weighing the attributes of different weapons. I used archers very sparingly because they required light and the Underland has little natural illumination. But a bow and arrow can be handmade, shot from a distance, and weaponized when the story transitions into warfare. She was a born archer.
Her name came later, while I was researching survival training and specifically edible plants. In one of my books, I found the arrowhead plant, and the more I read about it, the more it seemed to reflect her. Its Latin name has the same roots as Sagittarius, the archer. The edible tuber roots she could gather, the arrowhead-shaped leaves were her defense, and the little white blossoms kept it in the tradition of flower names, like Rue and Primrose. I looked at the list of alternative names for it. Swamp Potato. Duck Potato. Katniss easily won the day.
As to her voice, I hadn’t intended to write in first person. I thought the book would be in the third person like The Underland Chronicles. Then I sat down to work and the first page poured out in first person, like she was saying, “Step aside, this is my story to tell.” So I let her.