Nation & World News

New Salinger Books Will Arrive In 2015, Authors Say

By Bill Chappell on August 26th, 2013

A stream of fiction and stories written by reclusive author J.D. Salinger will be published between 2015 and 2020, according to a new biography about the writer of The Catcher in the Rye, who died in 2010. Some of the books will reportedly revisit beloved Salinger characters such as Holden Caulfield.

The claims come from David Shields and Shane Salerno, co-authors of the biography Salinger, which will be published next week. Days later, Salerno’s documentary film of the same name will be released (and in January, it will air on PBS).

In their research on Salinger, Shields and Salerno culled information from new and existing interviews with people who knew the author and with book critics and experts on Salinger, who famously withdrew from public life and stopped publishing in the 1960s — but never stopped writing, according to many accounts.

And some of that work reportedly features familiar characters such as Franny and Zooey Glass, the witty and introspective siblings in the novella Franny and Zooey.

Citing two anonymous sources, the authors say that Salinger “left instructions ‘authorizing a specific timetable’ (starting between 2015 and 2020) for the release of unpublished work, including five new Glass family stories; a novel based on his relationship with his first wife, Sylvia Welter, a German he married shortly after World War II; a novella in the form of a counterintelligence officer’s diary entries during the war; a story-filled “manual” about the Vedanta religious philosophy,” according to New York Times book critic Michiko Kakutani.

Also rumored to be on tap: “The Last and Best of the Peter Pans,” an update on the lives of Holden Caulfield and his family. That’s from a separate Times report, which notes that Salinger’s literary legacy would be vastly expanded by upcoming releases, if the new claims are true.

If the claims of planned new work from Salinger are true, they would represent the first substantial publication of his fiction since the story “Hapworth 16, 1924″ appeared in The New Yorker.

The AP cautions:

“But there is no consensus on what he was writing and no physical evidence of what Salinger had reportedly stashed in a safe in his home in Cornish, N.H. The Salinger estate, run partly by Matt Salinger and Salinger’s widow, Colleen O’Neill, has remained silent on the subject since the author’s death in January 2010. The two did not cooperate with Salerno and Shields.”

The pair have also refused to comment on the early reports of upcoming Salinger fiction, as did representatives of Little, Brown and Company, publishers of Catcher in the Rye.

After Salinger settled into life in a small New Hampshire town, he rarely gave an account of his activities, or his reasons for rejecting a more public life.

One of Salinger’s few interviews was conducted in 1980, by reporter Betty Eppes.

“He said, ‘I refuse to publish,'” Eppes told NPR in 1997, “‘There’s a marvelous peace in not publishing,’ he said. ‘There’s a stillness. When you publish, the world thinks you owe something. If you don’t publish, they don’t know what you’re doing. You can keep it for yourself.'”

As for the merits of the new biography, the AP, which acquired an advance copy of Salinger, compares it to an oral history. Writing in The Times, Kakutani calls it “a loosey-goosey, Internet-age narrative with diminished authorial responsibility.”

In a final note, we’ll remind you that the Two-Way’s regular “Book News” feature is on a late-summer holiday. In April, NPR’s Annalisa Quinn told us about nine letters Salinger wrote to a woman in the 1940s, in which he mention his recently submitted manuscripts.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

Get your sci-fi with a side of cappuccino.

Book News: The Future of the Public Library May Lie in the Coffee Shop

A long-awaited review of public libraries in the U.K. calls for them to expand digital services and offer a “retail-standard environment” akin to coffee shops.


The gurney in the execution chamber at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary is pictured in McAlester, Okla., in 2008.

2014 Saw Fewest Executions In 20 Years, Report Finds

The Death Penalty Information Center, which opposes capital punishment, says executions dropped in part because some states had issues with their lethal injections.


Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures during his annual news conference in Moscow, Russia, on Thursday, where he blamed Western sanctions and falling oil prices on his country's economic troubles.

Putin: Sanctions, Falling Oil Prices Causing Ruble’s Tumble

In a year-end news conference, the Russian President said the worst-case scenario for his country’s economy would involve two more years of unease.


New Era For Cuba? Voices From Miami And Havana

In Miami, home of the largest Cuban diaspora, two generations faced off on the streets. In Havana, demonstrators spoke of hope.


The Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. voted against Arizona's appeal, which would have allowed a state ban on drivers licenses for young undocumented immigrants.

Supreme Court Refuses To Block Arizona Driver’s Licenses For ‘Dreamers’

Arizona’s appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court failed to prevent the state from having to issue driving permits to undocumented immigrants brought into the country as children.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments