Next month brings with it an onslaught of J.D. Salinger-related paraphernalia, with a new biography and associated documentary on the late author both due for release, for anyone who really wants to hear about it: where he was born, what his lousy childhood was like, and how his parents were occupied and all before they had him, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, since he didn’t really feel like going into it. What’s more, the authors of that biography say even more Salingernalia is forthcoming: The Associated Press took receipt of an early copy of Salinger and discovered therein that authors David Shields and Shane Salerno claim that ‘between 2015 and 2020, a series of posthumous Salinger releases are planned’.
Shields – author of How Literature Saved My Life, Reality Hunger: A Manifesto and Dead Languages: A Novel, who somehow resisted the urge to call this volume Salinger: A Biography – and Salerno – screenwriter of Armageddon (!), Alien vs. Predator: Requiem (!!) and Oliver Stone’s wargasm-coining Savages, and director of the tie-in documentary – say that ‘two independent and separate sources’ have ‘documented and verified’ the information. The (as-yet) unpublished work apparently encompasses a book featuring Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye protagonist Holden Caulfield and his family, including ‘a revised version of an early, unpublished story “The Last and Best of the Peter Pans.”‘ There is also seemingly a volume entitled The Family Glass containing more work featuring the eponymous family, a Salinger mainstay previously seen in Franny and Zooey and several short stories.
Shields and Salerno decline to name a publisher for the works, although several would likely be champing at the bit for just such an opportunity. Little, Brown, publishers of Salinger’s previous work, wouldn’t comment, whilst his son and executor of his estate, Matt Salinger, ‘was not immediately available for comment’. It may be worth noting that Matt Salinger and his mother, Salinger’s widow Colleen O’Neill, have not participated in either Shields and Salerno’s biography or Salerno’s documentary. As such, take any and all claims with the requisite pinch of salt, but this remains an enticing prospect for fans of one of 20th century American literature’s great enigmas.
He was chief hack and music editor of webzine Brazen from 2006 to 2010, and hosted Left of the Dial on Subcity Radio from 2008 to 2011.
He can be heard semi-regularly on the podcast of Scottish cultural blog Scots Whay Hae ('20th best website in Scotland!' - The List), and in 2011 founded Seen Your Video, a film and music podcast and blog based in Glasgow. He has a Masters degree in Scottish Literature from the University of Glasgow that will never have any practical application. You are on a hiding to nothing if you follow him on Twitter expecting any kind of hot publishing scoop.