Salinger’s legacy set for revamp as five unpublished works are promised
The author, who did not publish after 1965, revisits ‘Catcher In The Rye’ in a new novel
Nick Clark is the arts correspondent of The Independent. He joined the newspaper in June 2007, initially reporting on the stock markets. He has covered beats including the City, and technology, media and telecoms and made the switch to arts in December 2011. He has also contributed articles to the sports section.
Sunday 25 August 2013
The legacy of JD Salinger, the reclusive author of The Catcher in the Rye, is to be greatly expanded with the release of five previously unpublished works, according to claims from a new biography and documentary.
Salinger, one of the giants of American literature despite his limited output, largely remained a mystery for half a century. The author, whose last original work was published in 1965 and who gave his last interview three decades ago, died in 2010 at the age of 91.
Yet a string of new revelations are promised by 'Salinger', the title of the forthcoming book and documentary, about an author whose only novel was banned before becoming required reading in US schools.
The new biographical works claim that the writer left instructions with his estate to publish five books after 2015. Some will be original, while others will be extended versions of previous works.
They will include work featuring Holden Caulfield, the protagonist of The Catcher in the Rye, as well as new stories about the Glass family, who featured in Franny and Zooey and other collections. The works are also expected to include a novella based on his war experiences and a book set against the backdrop of World War II.
Shane Salerno, who spent nine years working on the film, and co-writer David Shields said they had “two independent and separate sources” who have verified the plans to publish the works. “He’s going to have a second act unlike any writer in history,” Mr Salerno told the New York Times. “There’s no precedent for this.”
The film is to be released by the Weinstein Company on 6 September, while the book is to be published three days earlier by Simon & Schuster.
The companies have marketed the works with a poster showing Salinger with a finger to his lips saying: “Uncover the Mystery but Don’t Spoil the Secrets!” Mirroring the author’s love of privacy, the film company has asked those seeing previews to sign non-disclosure agreements.
Salinger’s published work comprises one novel and 13 short stories. Yet in 1974, the author revealed he wrote daily, while members of his family said he carried on writing into his final years.
He said: “There is a marvellous peace in not publishing,” adding: “Publishing is a terrible invasion of my privacy. I like to write. I live to write. But I write just for myself and my own pleasure.”
His last new work to be published was a novella called Hapworth 16, 1924 which appeared in the New Yorker in 1965. It was to be republished in the 1990s but the work was pulled after the news leaked.
The 700-page biography includes rare photographs and letters and closely covers the Second World War, which left him traumatised. It also shows his response to the success of The Catcher in the Rye.
When news of the book was released in January, the publisher Jonathan Karp said it would be “the foundational book on one of our most beloved and most puzzling figures of the 20th century”.
The book mixes new and old interviews – there are close to 200 – as well as quotes from Tom Wolfe and Gore Vidal and even Mark David Chapman, who cited Catcher as the reason he shot John Lennon.
Salinger’s estate were not involved in the documentary or the book and have criticised the new research.
Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awardsTheatre
Grace DentChannel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 2 Ben Affleck asked TV chiefs to hide slave-owning ancestry, new hacked Sony emails published by Wikileaks claim
- 3 Driving while dehydrated can be just as dangerous as drink driving, study suggests
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
- 5 One Direction: Louis Tomlinson launching his own record label, has already 'signed two acts'
Better Call Saul creator Peter Gould on the creative concerns of a prequel, season 2 and the mind-numbing realities of the small courts
Britain's Got Talent 2015: RSPCA investigating Marc Metral's miming dog after cruelty complaints
One Direction: Louis Tomlinson launching his own record label, has already 'signed two acts'
Tidal CEO leaves Jay Z's music streaming service only a month after it launched
Star Wars 7: The Force Awakens: Luke Skywalker actor Mark Hamill admits he was suspicious of 'Star Trek guy' JJ Abrams
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate