J.D. Salinger is one of the most influential American authors, producing some of the most seminal literary works, including the famous novel, Catcher in the Rye. Even to this day, Catcher in the Rye remains a phenomenal hit, with a quarter of a million book sales, annually. In what comes as a spectacular surprise, it seems more of his books are due for publication, over the coming years.
Salinger was born and raised in Manhattan, and began exploring his craft whilst in secondary school, and commenced writing a series of short stories, many of which were successfully published by The New Yorker magazine.
The authors of J.D. Salinger’s biography have notified the world of intentions to release some of the man’s secret works, posthumously. According to David Shields and Shane Salerno, the writer’s of the soon-to-be released Salinger biography, there are more of Salinger’s intriguing works to come.
The pair’s biography scrutinizes Salinger’s life in minute detail, covering his experience during World War II, his very first marriage, and explores the inspirations for some of his notorious literature.
Salerno is a screenwriter for blockbuster titles, including Armageddon and Savages and is currently working on the sequel to James Cameron’s critically acclaimed film, Avatar. Salerno has actively courted a large number of companies in the entertainment industry, selling on the rights for feature films, book deals and television deals.
Unfortunately, following some of his greatest literary hits, Salinger became a recluse and his publications dwindled considerably. The writer’s desperate desire for privacy seemed to border on mania, as he became embroiled in a series of intense legal battles, the first of which was issued against a biographer for unauthorized publication of Hamilton’s JD Salinger: A Writer’s Life, during the 1980s; matters were worsened when, on separate occasions, his former partner and daughter penned memoirs, relating to his life, in the 1990s. Salinger died in 2010, a year after embarking upon yet another legal battle pitted against a fellow writer for copyright infringement of his most famous of works, Catcher in the Rye.
However, although Salinger refused to publish his efforts after 1965, this does not mean he simply refused to write. On the contrary, when questioned over his writing habits, Salinger admitted to writing nearly every day. But, could this mean that new books are due to be published in the future?
According to The New York Times, throughout their Salinger biography, Salerno and Shields maintain that a scheduled timetable for future, posthumous publications of his works was left by the great man, prior to his departure. Allegedly, these additional publications are due for release between the years of 2015 and 2020, and will include the following literary pieces:
- Five Glass family stories, centering around a group of fictional characters that have been included in a number of Salinger’s short stories
- An untitled novel, describing the story of a counterintelligence official during war-time
- A story about the Vedanta religious doctrine, which commends self-realization to understand reality
- An extension of the stories about Holden Caulfield, the lead character of Catcher in the Rye
- A novel about Salinger’s German wife, whom he married following World War II
It is alleged that Salinger’s war-time role molded his misanthropic outlook and tainted his perception of the world and its ideals; this, combined with his own tumultuous, adolescent experiences and contempt for his bourgeois family roots, is thought to have influenced his most famous character creation, Holden Caulfield. His seclusion from family and friends progressively worsened, which was then mirrored in his later writings.
However, it must be stressed, the two sources claiming new books to be on the horizon are both anonymous. What’s more, Salinger’s family members, who are involved in the estate’s affairs, have refused to cooperate with either Salerno or Shields, and are unwilling to engage in speculation over any prospective publications. Will we be seeing any new, future iterations of Salinger’s guarded works? Only time will tell.
By: James Fenner