JD Salinger Moves to Block 'Sequel' to Catcher In Rye

Novel by 'JD California' may be a hoax

By Amelia Atlas,  Newser User

Posted May 31, 2009 4:49 AM CDT
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(Newser) – Lawyers for the famously reclusive author JD Salinger are considering legal action to block an unauthorized sequel to his classic The Catcher in the Rye, reports the Telegraph. The new novel, by a Swedish-American named John David California, is titled 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye. It follows the Holden Caulfield-esque wanderings of Mr. C, a 76-year-old man who has escaped from a nursing home.

Salinger has sued to successfully block the inclusion of his letters in a 1988 biography. While California's publishers remain confident they will be allowed to proceed, many are wondering if the book and its mysterious new publisher, Windupbird Publishing, are part of a stunt. Between the author's strange name and initials and his April 1 birthday, the novel has the makings of a hoax. But California insists he is the real deal.

American novelist and short story writer JD Salinger, author of The Catcher In The Rye, in 1951.
American novelist and short story writer JD Salinger, author of "The Catcher In The Rye," in 1951.   (Getty Images)
The Catcher in the Rye, by JD Salinger
The Catcher in the Rye, by JD Salinger   (©grave-digger)
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I like to write. I love to write. But I write just for myself and my own pleasure. I'm known as a strange, aloof kind of man. But all I'm doing is trying to protect myself and my view. - JD Salinger, 1974

The stories are so different that I don't think you can argue this is a sequel. It's just words. I have written about Mr. C, a 76-year-old man. Salinger wrote a book about a a 16-year-boy named Holden Caulfield.
- John David California

I can see why people might be sceptical but I really was born on April 1. My initials really are JD. My first names are John David and I changed my last name to California. That's what's in my passport. - John David California

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