An Iconic Novel Embraces Digital Age

For first time, JD Salinger's works (including 'Catcher in the Rye') will be available as ebooks
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 12, 2019 6:11 AM CDT
An Iconic Novel Embraces Digital Age
Copies of J.D. Salinger's classic novel "The Catcher in the Rye" as well as his volume of short stories called "Nine Stories."   (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta, File)

JD Salinger himself may not have been thrilled with the idea, but the Catcher in the Rye will be available as an ebook for the first time this week. Son Matt Salinger tells the New York Times that it's a part of a gradual rollout of Salinger material for new generations. In addition to the Catcher in the Rye, featuring Holden Caulfield, Salinger's three other published works will be available as well—Nine Stories, Franny and Zooey, and Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction. The ebooks will be out Tuesday, per the AP. Matt Salinger also confirmed that much more of his reclusive father's unpublished work will be published eventually, perhaps over the next five to seven years.

"He would want people to come to it with no preconceptions," says Salinger. "I wanted people to know that, yes, he did keep writing, there’s a lot of material, and yes, it will be published." The elder Salinger eschewed computers and technology, and his son says he's balancing his father's wishes with a desire to keep the work alive. "I hear his voice really clearly in my head, and there’s no doubt in my mind about 96% of the decisions I have to make," he says. "Things like e-books and audiobooks are tough, because he clearly didn’t want them.” For now, at least, no audiobook versions will be available. (Details are sparse about the unpublished works, but don't expect a "linear" continuation of his previous work.)

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