Literary Backlog

It is thought that J.D. Salinger has written as many as ten unpublished novels that now, with his passing, may eventually see the light of day.

It is thought that J.D. Salinger has written as many as ten unpublished novels that now, with his passing, may eventually see the light of day. "Was JD Salinger best known, in later years, for being the most celebrated literary recluse in the world? After 1965, he withdrew from engagement with the literary world, emerging only at the hands of the occasional journalistic tale of stalking, in a furious-looking snatched photograph, or some unsubstantiated rumours. He made no distinction between a respectful inquiring scholar like Ian Hamilton and any number of scandalous muckrakers. There have been constant rumours for 45 years that Salinger went on working – some people have claimed that he had as many as 10 full-length novels in his safe. Will we now see the publication of some posthumous, full-scale works? Some clue to the quality of these works, if any, may lie in his last publication, never issued in book form. Hapworth 16, 1924, published in the New Yorker in 1965, is a weird, interminable, almost unreadable story in the form of a letter by the grossly precocious juvenile Seymour Glass to his parents. Without the influence and judgment of editors, it looks worryingly as if Salinger was heading in a direction actively careless of the welfare of his readers."

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