Family Plans to Publish Unseen Works of JD Salinger

The 'Catcher in the Rye' author kept writing for decades, his son confirms
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 4, 2019 6:10 PM CST
Family Plans to Publish Unseen Works of JD Salinger
J.D. Salinger on book jacket of his 1951 novel "Catcher in the Rye."   (University of New Hampshire via AP)

For the first time in more than 50 years, unseen works by literary giant JD Salinger—creator of the iconic Holden Caulfield—will be published, though it's not clear exactly when. Matt Salinger told the Guardian that his father, who died in 2010, never stopped writing, though his last new work was published in 1965. It had long been rumored that the Catcher in the Rye author had continued writing at his home in Cornish, New Hampshire, out of the public eye. Matt Salinger said he and Colleen O’Neill, the author's widow, are working as fast as they can to prepare the material for publication. It’s not ready yet, and will take years, he said, but nearly all of the writings "will at some point be shared."

Some readers and literary observers welcomed the news, the Los Angeles Times reports. “His work continues to resonate with modern audiences,” Madeline Grant writes in the Telegraph. Others were uneasy with the thought of what could be considered outtakes. Matt Salinger has no reservations about the unpublished works, though he revealed few details about the stories to come. He did say that the later writing has "no linear evolution" and that "it becomes clear that he was after different game." But the creativity seems to have remained. Matt Salinger said his father "teemed with ideas and thoughts … he’d be driving the car and he'd pull over to write something and laugh to himself—sometimes he'd read it to me, sometimes he wouldn't—and next to every chair he had a notebook." (Some might argue Catcher isn't worth reading.)

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