J.D. Salinger, author of classics Catcher in the Rye, Nine Stories, and one my all time favorite novels, Franny and Zooey, died in 2001 at the age of 91. He had become something of a recluse and a man of mystery before his death. For the last thirty years of his life, he kept out of the public and many wondered what he was doing and if he was writing.
David Shields and Shane Salerno believe Salinger was very busy writing. The two have written a biography to be released on September 3rd, and filmed a companion documentary to be released on September 6th about the mysterious Salinger. Shields and Salerno claim that they have information revealing that sometime between 2015 and 2020, a series of posthumous Salinger books are planned for release. They believe this delayed release was all part of plans Salinger gave his estate before he died.
According to the New York Times, these books would consist of a collection called “The Family Glass,” which would contain five new stories about the fascinating Glass family from Franny and Zooey. The Times says we should also expect “a retooled version of a publicly known but unpublished tale, The Last and Best of the Peter Pans; a story-filled “manual” of the Vedanta religious philosophy; a novel set during World War II and based on his first marriage; and a novella modeled on his own war experiences.”
PBS, who will be airing the aptly named documentary, Salinger, as part of its American Masters program, says the film contains interviews of “150 friends, colleagues, and members of his inner circle who have never spoken on the record before.”
So far Matt Salinger, J.D. Salinger’s son, and Colleen O’Neill, his widow, have not commented on either the 700-page book or documentary.
I honestly can’t get my head around this possibility. I know David Shields and Shane Salerno are presenting these new books as a sure thing, but until I have a copy of one in my hands I just don’t know if I believe it. But I also know posthumous miracles happen all of the time. It was, after all, just a few weeks ago that an Orson Welles film, thought to be lost forever, was found in a warehouse in Italy.
Image Credit: Fast Company
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