The family of writer J.D. Salinger plans to publish a wealth of secret works he created over the last half century of his life, his son told The Guardian in an interview published Monday.
“This was somebody who was writing for 50 years without publishing, so that’s a lot of material,” Matt Salinger told the newspaper. He said he and Salinger’s widow, Colleen O’Neill, are “going as fast as we freaking can” to get it ready for publication. But he warned that it could take years — hopefully less than a decade — to publish everything the reclusive author left behind after his death in 2010. But Matt Salinger vowed: “All of what he wrote will at some point be shared.”
He said his dad “wanted me to pull it together, and because of the scope of the job, he knew it would take a long time.”
The author of the painful coming-of-age novel “Catcher in the Rye” and creator of the ultimate angry-young-man protagonist Holden Caulfield “teemed with ideas and thoughts,” said his son. “He’d be driving the car and pull over to write something and laugh,” and he had a notebook next to every chair in his isolated New Hampshire home, Matt said.
The last of Salinger’s modest body of published work was the short story “Hapworth 16, 1924” that appeared in The New Yorker in 1965 when Salinger was 46.
His son didn’t reveal details about the unpublished fiction. But The Guardian noted that it “appears likely” there will be more about the quirky brainiac Glass family of the Upper West Side of Manhattan, who peopled many of Salinger’s published stories.
Matt Salinger predicted the works will be “tremendously well received” by devoted readers.
“They will be affected in the way every reader hopes to be affected when they open a book,” he promised. “Not changed, necessarily, but something rubs off that can lead to change. When my father said that everything he has to say is in his fiction, believe it ― it’s there.”