August 2013 | Nate Pedersen

New Salinger Titles on Their Way


News surfaced this weekend that posthumous works by the famously reclusive author J. D. Salinger will see publication between 2015 and 2020. In the upcoming biography of the writer, entitled Salinger, by David Shields and Shane Salerno, the authors claim that Salinger's literary trust will release the five books with a yet-to-be-determined publisher. Salinger apparently approved of their publication before he died, at age 91, in 2010.

So, what's on the way?  Quite the variety:

1) The Family Glass, an anthology of Glass family stories including several new ones.
2) A WWII novel inspired by Salinger's difficult relationship with his first wife - a possible Gestapo spy.
3) A manual of the Hindu Vedanta religion to which Salinger was devoted in the second half of his life.
4) A novella based on Salinger's experiences as a counterintelligence officer in WWII.
5) A Caulfield anthology, including a reworked "The Last and Best of the Peter Pans."

And so, in the span of a few years, Salinger collectors will more than double the amount of books in their collection. Salinger only published four books in his lifetime, The Catcher in the Rye, Nine Stories, Franny and Zooey, and Raise High the Roofbeam, Carpenters.  

After managing to afford a first edition, first printing of The Catcher in the Rye, (roughly a $20,000 feat), the Salinger collector must spend most of his time tracking down copies of the magazines Salinger first published his stories in.  This blog post at Magazine History offers an excellent overview of the various magazines that published Salinger stories, including his first, "The Young Folks," published by Story magazine in 1940.