Three unpublished JD Salinger stories leak online

The collection was uploaded despite the author's wish to keep it secret

Three unpublished stories thought to be written by JD Salinger, late author of The Catcher in the Rye, have been leaked online.

Questions have been raised over the legitimacy of the stories, but Salinger’s biographer Kenneth Slawenski confirmed to Buzzfeed earlier that they “look to be true transcripts of the originals and match my own copies”.

“Paula”, “Birthday Boy” and “The Ocean Full of Bowling Balls” appeared on Reddit today with a message from the anonymous uploader, who cited the original source as an eBay auction.

The latter story is regarded by academics as the author’s greatest unpublished work and, as of today, it has only been available to read under supervision at the Princeton library in America.

“The Ocean Full of Bowling Balls” serves as a sort of prequel to The Catcher in the Rye as its protagonist Kenneth Caulfield was developed into Holden’s dead brother Allie.

The stories had been closely guarded after Salinger reportedly requested they remain unpublished until 50 years after his death.

The author died aged 91 in 2010 with much of his work still unpublished. He had retreated from the public eye after The Catcher in the Rye achieved unprecedented global success.

Salinger had spoken of the “marvellous peace” he found in not publishing in his final 1980 interview. “When you publish, the world thinks you owe something. If you don’t publish, they don’t know what you’re doing,” he said. “You can keep it for yourself”.