Mystery shrouds 'Catcher in the Rye' author's unpublished work
By Anjali Khosla Mullany
Daily News Writer
Friday, January 29th 2010
With the death of J.D. Salinger, the world has lost one of the greatest - and most publicity-shy - authors of the 20th century.
Salinger's passing has, however, caused many of his admirers to wonder if they will soon be gaining access to a treasure trove of his unpublished works.
Salinger, who is most famous for his quintessential New York novel "The Catcher in the Rye," died yesterday in New Hampshire.
Unhappy with the fame that met his literary success, Salinger spent most of his life out of the public eye, and had not published new work in the decades preceding his death.
Only four of his books were ever published - "The Catcher in the Rye;" "Nine Stories;" "Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction" and "Franny and Zooey."
"Hapworth 16, 1924," an epistolary novella written from the perspective of one of Salinger's most famous characters, Seymour Glass, was published in The New Yorker in 1964.
Since the 1990s, publication of a book reissue of the manuscript has been periodically postponed or cancelled. It seems likely that Salinger continued to write after his withdrawal from the public eye.
In rare interviews with the New York Times and the Boston Globe, he said that he had not given up writing. He told the Globe in 1980, "I love to write, and I assure you I write regularly."
As he had told the New York Times in 1974, "There is a marvelous peace in not publishing ... I write just for myself and my own pleasure."
Salinger fans want to know if his unpublished works have been preserved after his death, and if the works will be made available to the public.
A representative at Salinger's literary agency, Harold Ober Associates, told the Daily News that the agency has "no plans at this time" to release any of his unpublished work, or to re-release "Hapworth 16, 1924."
For now, the world will have to continue to wait and see if new Salinger works will be published.