NEW YORK - A new Dan Brown novel is coming in May, and the subject is Dante.
Doubleday announced Tuesday that Brown's book is called "Inferno," named for Dante's epic journey in verse. Brown again will feature Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon, the protagonist for his blockbuster "The Da Vinci Code" and for the million-selling follow-up "The Lost Symbol."
The new book might seem familiar in other ways, as Brown again takes on a masterpiece of Western civilization. "The Da Vinci Code" centered on an iconic painting, the Mona Lisa.
"Although I studied Dante's `Inferno' as a student, it wasn't until recently, while researching in Florence, that I came to appreciate the enduring influence of Dante's work on the modern world," Brown said in a statement. "With this new novel, I am excited to take readers on a journey deep into this mysterious realm. a landscape of codes, symbols, and more than a few secret passageways."
Brown may also be returning to the religious controversies of "The Da Vinci Code," when he infuriated some Catholics by suggesting that Jesus and Mary Magdalene had children. Dante himself was a Catholic who was critical of church leaders.
"Inferno" comes out May 14, a week before another likely top seller of 2013, Khaled Hosseini's "And the Mountains Echoed."