Welcome readers of the web! You seem to have stumbled into my personal blog, where I talk about the books I read and write about recent literary news that strikes my interest. Hopefully you'll get in on it too! Before you go any further, beware… this whole blog is overflowing with SPOILERS. You've been warned.
(I know I'm a few days late on this story, but it's big enough that I wanted to have my facts straight before posting anything. Details are still sketchy and I'm having trouble researching while avoiding the leaked stories which would just be too tempting to read, so please let me know if you find any errors here.)
Last Wednesday, three stories by JD Salinger (none of which had never been published) were leaked online. They come from treasure troves of unpublished Salinger materials gifted to Princeton University and the University of Texas around the time of Salinger's death in 2010. Much of this material reportedly revolves around the characters and themes of The Catcher in the Rye and experiences Salinger had in the Armed Forces. The stories were not to be published, at Salinger's request, until 50 years after his death. Yet three have escaped their hallowed (and really heavily guarded) reading rooms and been anonymously published online.
Of these three short stories, the most interesting one to literature lovers might be "The Ocean Full of Bowling Balls," which is about the death of Kenneth (who you probably know by his later name, Allie), Holden Caulfield's brother, and therefore elaborates on a lot of Holden's backstory in The Catcher in the Rye.
According to one Collier's editor, it "contains the greatest letter home from camp ever composed by man or boy." To further your desperation to break into the reading room it is held in and read every scrap of paper Salinger donated to Princeton, you should know that a lot of the short stories and brainstorming bits there are about Holden and Co. So new bucket list item: go to Princeton's library and read everything Salinger stored there... legally.
While "Bowling Balls" was stored at Princeton's Firestone Library, the other two leaked works ("Paula" and "Birthday Boy") were held at UT, Austin. No word yet on what these stories were about. All three were allegedly taken from a small, legal London run of the works in 1999, but it's more likely that they were just copied (longhand or by more tech-savvy means) by a heartless patron who doesn't respect dead authors.
Always, Your Bibliomaniac
Haggin, Patience. "Unpublished J.D. Salinger Story Kept in University Library Leaked Illegally Online." The Daily Princetonian. N.p., 1 Dec. 2013. Web. 2 Dec. 2013.