It was announced late month in the lead up to a new biography ‘Salinger‘, that J.D. Salinger, in his brilliance wrote at least four BRAND NEW NOVELS and several short stories before he died in 2010. God rest his soul.
And I’m thrilled, I really am. I adore ‘Franny and Zooey’ not to mention ‘Catcher in the Rye’ and to be able to get more out of the Glass family will be so amusing.
Except, according to a USA Today article, he’d been hoarding them and determined not to have them published until after he was dead. Hence – J.D. Salinger is an asshole.
An EW story says that the supposed new books from Salinger will be
- an anthology, The Family Glass, which will include the existing Glass family stories along with five new ones as well as a Glass family geneaology.
- a World War II novel inspired by Salinger’s enormously complicated relationship with his first wife, Sylvia, who may have been a Gestapo informant.
- a manual of the Hindu Vedanta religion, which Salinger followed for the last 50 years of his life.
- a novella based on Salinger’s own experiences that, according to the authors, “takes the form of a counterintelligence agent’s diary entries during World War II.”
- “a complete retooling” of Salinger’s unpublished Holden Caulfield story “The Last and Best of the Peter Pans,” which will be packaged with the existing Caulfield stories as well as new stories and The Catcher in the Rye, “creating a complete history of the Caulfield family.”
I’d be thrilled with any and all of these, but if what the USA Today story says is true, we won’t get any of them until 2015.
The question here is now, no longer “Did Salinger write anything in the 50 years between the publication of his story ‘Hapworth 16, 1924‘ and his death?” but “How much did Salinger write?”
I for one am immensely interested in why he chose not to publish anything over the rest of his life if he kept writing. He must have known how popular he was at that time, which I suppose is one reason he became a recluse.
Only, I keep thinking that he did it on purpose. Which is silly, because I didn’t know him and I’ve only ever read his books and stories.
Well, apparently with the new biography comes documentary of the same name that comes out today, and maybe that will help us to understand who the guy really was.
But until then, I’m going to go on safe in the knowledge that the tree in the endzone Holden Caufield describes is based on the tree that sits in the endzone of my college football field. And that Salinger refused to allow us to name a scholarship after him. So we have the “Not Salinger Scholarship for Creative Writing” instead.
So there you have it. J.D. Salinger: asshole or serious recluse? You decide.
Also, will you read any of his new books?
Something to think on,