The family of the late J.D. Salinger revealed Friday that unpublished works by the reclusive Catcher in the Rye author “will at some point be shared.”
The author’s son Matt Salinger spoke to the Guardian about his late father’s cache of unread works – even though Salinger hadn’t published a new novel between 1961’s Franny and Zooey and his 2010 death, he remained a prolific writer – and that the Salinger family is “going as fast as we freaking can” to get the works publish-ready.
“[Salinger] 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,” Matt Salinger said.
“He just decided that the best thing for his writing was not to have a lot of interactions with people, literary types in particular. He didn’t want to be playing in those poker games, he wanted to, as he would encourage every would-be writer to do, you know, stew in your own juices.”
Matt Salinger and the author’s widow Colleen O’Neill – who were jointly put in charge of Salinger’s literary estate – began going through the late author’s unpublished writings in 2011.
“He wanted me to pull it together, and because of the scope of the job, he knew it would take a long time,” Matt Salinger told the Guardian. “This was somebody who was writing for 50 years without publishing, so that’s a lot of material. So there’s not a reluctance or a protectiveness: when it’s ready, we’re going to share it.”
Matt Salinger also denied rumors that one of the unpublished works is a short story involving Holden Caulfield, the protagonist of The Catcher in the Rye, calling the report “total trash.”
However, Matt Salinger tempered expectations for the unreleased work, saying the eventual publication “will definitely disappoint people that he wouldn’t care about, but for real readers … I think it will be tremendously well received by those people and they will be affected in the way every reader hopes to be affected when they open a book.”
Despite having not published anything for 50 years, Salinger continued writing until his 2010 death. “All of what he wrote will at some point be shared,” Matt Salinger pledged.