Author J.D. Salinger, best-known for his influential novel The Catcher in the Rye, will have four of his works released this week in e-book formats for the first time.
The New York Times reports that Salinger’s son, Matt Salinger, has agreed to the effort to get the books in front of a new generation of readers.
Little, Brown plans to unveil digital editions of Salinger’s ”The Catcher in the Rye,” “Nine Stories,” “Franny and Zooey,” and “Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour—An Introduction.”
“This is the last chip to fall in terms of the classic works,” said Terry Adams, vice president, digital and paperback publisher of Little, Brown, speaking to the Times. “All of the other estates of major 20th century writers have made the move to e-books, but Matt has been very cautious.”
Matt Salinger and the estate’s reluctance isn’t surprising, given his father’s notorious reluctance to publicly communicate. Matt Salinger related to the Times that his father had an aversion to the internet.
“I hear his voice really clearly in my head, and there’s no doubt in my mind about 96 percent of the decisions I have to make, because I know what he would have wanted,” Mr. Salinger said. “Things like e-books and audiobooks are tough, because he clearly didn’t want them.”
J.D. Salinger died in 2010 at age 91. He has unreleased works that the estate is also preparing for release at an undetermined date.
“He would want people to come to it with no preconceptions,” Matt Salinger said. “I wanted people to know that, yes, he did keep writing, there’s a lot of material, and yes, it will be published.”