Welcome to Dead Caulfields, a site dedicated to the life and works of J.D. Salinger
including The Catcher in the Rye, Nine Stories, Franny and Zooey, and
Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour-An Introduction .

Jerome David Salinger
January 1, 1919 - January 27, 2010

News & Updates


J.D. Salinger unseen writings to be published, family confirms

The Guardian

Oona O'NeillJD Salinger's son has confirmed for the first time that the late author of The Catcher in the Rye wrote a significant amount of work that has never been seen, and that he and his father's widow are “going as fast as we freaking can” to get it ready for publication.

Salinger died in 2010, leaving behind a small but perfectly formed body of published work that has not been added to since 1965's New Yorker story, Hapworth 16, 1924. Rumours have circulated for years that the creator of one of the 20th century's most enduring characters, Holden Caulfield, continued to write over the ensuing decades he spent in the New Hampshire village of Cornish, far from public view.

In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, his son Matt Salinger has finally revealed, definitively, that his father never stopped writing and that “all of what he wrote will at some point be shared”...

Continue Reading...

Read more : February 1, 2019


J.D. Salinger Centennial


Oona O'Neill

“My father hated birthdays, holidays, and pretty much any planned or culturally mandated celebrations, and he’d certainly hate this Centennial — but he loved writing and he loved his readers, and I hope his readers will be glad for an excuse to remember him in this way,” Matt Salinger, J.D.’s son, said in a statement. As for what Salinger might have hated, Little, Brown is planning a series of events in bookstores and libraries across the country around his work, while the New York Public Library is planning an exhibition from Salinger’s archive for October 2019.

As to speculation that Salinger left instructions for his unpublished manuscripts to be released to the public...

Continue Reading...

Read more : September 8, 2018


Oona & Salinger

Barbara Hoffman, The New York Post

Oona O'Neill

She was the girl who got away, the one the writer of “The Catcher in the Rye” never caught.

Eugene O'Neill's daughter, Oona, was 16 when she was introduced to a 22-year-old J.D. Salinger in 1941. A year after they started dating, he was sent to boot camp while Oona headed for Hollywood, where she became Mrs. Charlie Chaplin.
Continue Reading...


Read more : September 12, 2017


Salinger's Nightmare

The Paris Review

SalingerAn intriguing, if sad, little story of an unemployed actor who tracked down Salinger to get his permission to adapt The Catcher in the Rye.

In 1953, J. D. Salinger fled Manhattan for rural Cornish, New Hampshire, hoping to protect his privacy and find the solitude he needed for his work. The Catcher in the Rye , which spent thirty weeks on the  New York Times ' best-seller list, had generated immeasurable publicity and adulation for Salinger, who wanted none of it. Among his new suitors were such Hollywood bigwigs as Samuel Goldwyn and David O. Selznick, both vying for the screen rights to Catcher . They failed to secure Salinger's approval, as did many others, in turn—but that didn't stop Bill Mahan, an unemployed former child star and devoted fan from Los Angeles, from giving it a shot. In the early sixties, he resolved to claim the film rights himself, even if it meant disturbing Salinger at home.

Continue Reading...

Read more : April 13, 2017


The Film J.D. Salinger Nearly Made

The New Yorker

SalingerWhat happened when a TV producer got the writer’s permission to adapt a beloved short story?

In the woods, someone had built a labyrinth, a maze edged with stones. It began where a spoked handwheel, rusted red, had been pressed into the dirt as if it were a sundial, a clock, stopped. The path was overgrown with ferns. It twisted and turned and snaked around in a coil until it ended at a murky well fed from a spring where a person, quiet of heart, is meant to meditate. That person is not me. earby, a stone Buddha the size of a small girl watched from the crooked stump of a fallen birch.

Continue Reading...

Read more : November 14, 2016


J.D. Salinger's Spiritual Quest

BBC Radio 4

SalingerWhen the late American author J D Salinger ceased publishing and withdrew from the public gaze, he left many with a fractured understanding of the man behind the writing.

His books, including Franny and Zooey and Nine Stories, supported the belief that Salinger flew from one religious conviction to another. However, recently released letters reveal a deep and enduring relationship with both Hindu philosophy and a New York based monk.

There's always been a certain mystique to the iconic Salinger. While The Catcher in the Rye has sold over 65 million copies, the author lived much of his life as a recluse. But, even while out of the spotlight, Salinger continued to write letters. He was a keen correspondent with friends and family - including the spiritual leader of the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center of New York, Swami Nikhilananda.

In this programme, Vishva Samani investigates what the letters might tell us about Salinger's relationship with Hindu philosophy and, in turn, his literature.
Today, the hidden and pervasive influence of Vedanta and Indian philosophy is interwoven into all our daily lives. We talk of karma, practice yoga, and every politician has a 'mantra'. However in the 1950's and 1960s, few outside of India Salinger had heard these terms.

As a journalist and Hindu centred in Vedanta, Vishva Samani seeks to clarify whether Salinger just dabbled or if his faith went deeper. She reveals how Vedanta left India to reach not just the Western World, but other brilliant minds including William James, Leo Tolstoy, Nikola Tesla, Aldous Huxley and, of course, Salinger.

Listen to the radio program here...

Read more : December 21, 2015


When Salinger Bonded With Hemingway

by Nicolaus Mills

HemingwaySeventy years ago on July 27, 1945, J.D. Salinger, then serving with the U.S. Army in Germany, sent Ernest Hemingway a letter that reflected the friendship the two had begun a year earlier during the midst of World War II.
Whether Salinger expected a reply from Hemingway, at the time the most famous writer in America, is unclear. His request for Hemingway to drop him a line—“if” he can manage it—reflects his uncertainty about getting a return letter. With only a handful of short stories to his credit, Salinger could not help wondering if he had made a genuine connection with a writer he had grown up reading. Continue Reading...

Read more :July 27, 2015


Holden Caulfield's Goddam War

Vanity Fair


In the autumn of 1950, at his home in Westport, Connecticut, J. D. Salinger completed The Catcher in the Rye. The achievement was a catharsis. It was confession, purging, prayer, and enlightenment, in a voice so distinct that it would alter American culture.
Holden Caulfield, and the pages that held him, had been the author's constant companion for most of his adult life. Those pages, the first of them written in his mid-20s, just before he shipped off to Europe as an army sergeant, were so precious to Salinger that he carried them on his person throughout the Second World War. Pages of The Catcher in the Rye had stormed the beach at Normandy; they had paraded down the streets of Paris, been present at the deaths of countless soldiers in countless places, and been carried through the concentration camps of Nazi Germany. In bits and pieces they had been re-written, put aside, and re-written again, the nature of the story changing as the author himself was changed. Now, in Connecticut, Salinger placed the final line on the final chapter of the book. Continue Reading...

Read more :July 16, 2015


I Went To New Hampshire To Buy J.D. Salinger's House

by Adam Langer


I have traveled to Cornish, New Hampshire, with the intention of buying J.D. Salinger's house. Last year, when the house went on the market, it was listed for $679,000, but now Jane Darrach, the real estate agent for the property, has told me the price has dropped to “585-ish.” It seems like a lot of money to spend on a house unless, of course, you happen to live in Manhattan or Williamsburg where 585-ish will buy you a 400 square foot studio. In Cornish, 585-ish will apparently net you 2,300 square feet on a large plot of land, plus a huge chunk of literary history. The fact sheet for the house promises a “charming house set in an enchanting garden of flowers and trees.” It adds, “Land on both sides of the road ensures privacy.” Well, since we're talking about J.D. Salinger, that's a given. Continue Reading...

Read more :June 14, 2015


Hapworth Revisited

(Courtesy of The Millions)

Salinger Cover Fifty years ago this month,  The New Yorker published a bizarre short story by J.D. Salinger , author of The Catcher in the Rye , written in the form of a 28,000-word letter from a seven-year-old child at summer camp. No one could know it at the time, but this story was to mark one of the longest and most fascinating silences in literary history. Shortly after the story appeared, Salinger retreated into his reclusive rural New Hampshire home, and never published anything again in his lifetime. Continue Reading...

Read more :June 11, 2015


"As always, she looked slightly afraid to approach the subject; but she came equipped, as always, to get there."

Salinger Cover"I got up and went to my room, profoundly sorry about something. Sorry for all the people who are having to climb down from their ivory towers, sorry for their having to need to be up there in the first place, sorry for all the young men who can’t cock their overseas cap. Sorry because I’d nearly made a Svengali out of the last and best of the Peter Pans."

J.D. Salinger
Last and Best of the Peter Pans

October 9, 2014


Salinger Stories in Sketch & Song

" An artist's only concern is to shoot for some kind of perfection, and on his own terms, not anyone else's."

Salinger Stories

Artistic creativity is one of the few things in life that, when shared, always multiplies. So perhaps the greatest compliment any artist can receive is that his or her work went on to ignite the creative energies of others.
Deadcaulfields is proud to feature the works of two exceptional artists, each inspired to creativity by reading the stories of J.D. Salinger.

Olya Chikina is an illustrator whose hauntingly delicate sketches display a remarkably close-reading of Salinger's later works. Brimming with allusions, characters, and symbols, they are not only evocative of the Salinger stories they depict, but also enormously entertaining to examine. You can view the entire gallery on Olya's site HERE.

Singer/songwriter Brandon Thomas De La Cruz has been writing and performing songs inspired by Salinger stories for years. In fact, he confesses to being a bit “obsessive” about his Salinger-related music (but we know that no source of inspiration ever needs an excuse). His third musical release contains Three Songs, each relating to one of the Nine Stories. Have a listen at Brandon 's site HERE.


September 30, 2014


A Family I Knew

Salinger in Vienna


J.D. Salinger spent several months in Vienna in 1937, living with a Jewish family, going ice skating and wearing a green Tyrolean hat. Details about the family, with whom he remained in contact for the rest of his life, have recently been unearthed.


If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is why J.D. Salinger, author of The Catcher in the Rye , went to Vienna in 1937, what he did there, where he lived and all that. I'll try to tell you about it, as it's an interesting tale with a happy end, if you like that sort of thing.

But first you'll need to know about another story: Wien, Wien, written by Salinger in 1947 and published by Good Housekeeping under a different title: A Girl I Knew. Keep that story in mind, as in some respects it resembles mine. Continue Reading...


Read more :January 28, 2014


The Four Faces of J.D. Salinger

Salinger CoverTo the world, J.D. Salinger had two faces. There was J.D. Salinger the Writer, the complicated, continually evolving author of The Catcher in the Rye, who went on to deliver the famous short story collection Nine Stories and who introduced the world to the quirky, overly-pensive Glass family through his books Franny and Zooey and Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour an Introduction .

Then there was J.D. Salinger the Legend, the myth, the reclusive, apparently stingy Salinger who, after his final publication in The New Yorker in 1965, shut himself away from public view – along with his manuscripts – and threatened lawsuits on anyone who dared challenge his copyright or pry into his personal life.

I knew of both these J.D. Salingers when I began to write Salinger: A Life : the writer and the legend. So, I went chasing after the writer in the hopes it would reveal the truth behind the legend, the man behind the myth. I was searching for some event in Salinger's life, some reaction or reflex that would shed light on why he ceased publication, withdrew from public life, and fell silent.

For me, that search became a journey. What I encountered along that journey were an additional two faces of J.D. Salinger whose investigation was clearly vital to telling his story in full: Salinger the Soldier and Salinger the Seeker. Together, the four faces of J.D. Salinger revealed a life story far more compelling than I ever imagined – and far more touching than I ever anticipated. Continue Reading...


Read more :October 6, 2013


J.D. Salinger and Vedanta

Salinger CoverSixty years ago this month, J.D. Salinger attended a spiritual retreat at Thousand Island Park, conducted by the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center of New York and led by his friend and spiritual teacher, Swami Nikhilananda. The lessons of Vedanta that Salinger learned from Nikhilananda over the years had a profound effect upon the author and molded every story he wrote after, and perhaps including, The Catcher in the Rye.
In April, the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center donated an important collection of Salinger letters to the Morgan Library & Museum. It was my privilege to speak during the presentation event, where I attempted to clarify the letters' histories and briefly explain how the teachings of Vedanta informed Salinger's work.
Those interested can follow the link to read my comments, which is also published in the current issue of Prabuddha Bharata, the monthly journal of the Ramakrishna Order. Please continue reading HERE.

Read more :July 24, 2013


Brandon De La Cruz's tribute to The Catcher in the Rye

"Allie Please" Brandon Thomas De La Cruz


June, 2013


January 27, 2013: a three year addendum

Salinger CoverWhile my new work demands that I step away from (what had become) my comfort zone, a portion of my interests will always be invested in the life and work of J.D. Salinger and I will continue to update this site whenever events warrant. Three years after Salinger's death and there is still no word on his unpublished manuscripts. (My bounce-rate just leapt exponentially.) However, a few intriguing articles of information have come to light in recent months that are worth sharing, especially as we mark the third anniversary of Salinger's passing.
Offering new information—however discreetly—often involves walking a slippery tightrope. Adding to Salinger's story can motivate readers to re-explore his literature, which makes the effort worthwhile. But at the same time, I must be careful to respect my sources, many of whom are disinclined to be identified or to have too much information revealed. Hopefully, I've struck the proper balance. Please continue reading HERE.

Read more :January 27, 2013


J.D. Salinger's Favorite Book

Salinger CoverGiven the opportunity to ask J.D. Salinger one question in his later years most would have made a similar inquiry: “What have you been writing?” Few of us would have had the insight to ask a very different but equally telling question: “What have you been reading?”
That is exactly what happened in 1995 when the proprietor of the satellite TV company being used by Salinger at his Cornish, NH home inquired what the author considered his favorite book. Salinger not only answered the question, he also offered to lend his copy.
It might surprise some that Salinger’s best-loved book was The Landsmen by Peter Martin. Published in 1952 by Little, Brown, The Landsmen is described as a novel of Jewish-American roots set in a small village in Tsarist Russia at the end of the nineteenth century. Clearly, Salinger’s enthusiasm for Martin’s work evidences his interest in his own family heritage. The Landsmen depicts the very world in which Salinger’s grandfather grew up: the intricate but precarious tapestry of life once lived in small Jewish communities throughout the Russian Empire.
According to the recipient, “the best part of The Landsmen was the note” Salinger had slipped inside its covers. It reads as quintessential J.D. Salinger and can be viewed here or by clicking the small cover image that begins this post.

June 5, 2012


January 27, 2012: Two Years On

Salinger CoverJanuary 27 marks two years since the death of J.D. Salinger. To observe the date, I've written a light-hearted short essay reflecting on what we've learned since – as well as what remains coyly veiled. The article is featured in The Huffington Post, on Salon.com among other sites and is offered here under its intended title, " Hidden Treasures: The Evasive Legacy of J.D. Salinger".

In other recent news, U.K.'s The Drum reports on the disclosure of a previously unrevealed Salinger interview conducted in 1942 by Shirley Ardman, a then18-year-old student at Columbia University who composed the interview as a class assignment (a familiar scenario). Ardman, who is now 90, has attempted to market the 1200-word document to a number of magazines since 1962, only to be repeatedly rebuffed for the manuscript's "ancient" age and lack of enticing revelations. Keep your eyes peeled now, though, as some wise publication will surely recognize the interview's worth.

Also on the news docket, the New Hampshire Legislature has passed into law SB 175, which was proposed on behalf of the Salinger family and grants them control over the commercial use of Salinger's “identity” (e.g. name, image, voice, etc.) for 70 years after his death.The law includes all citizens of the state and resembles similar statutes adopted nationwide. The New Hampshire law is especially noteworthy, however, as it was designed to protect the percieved rights of a specific individual: namely, the late author of The Catcher in the Rye.

Read more :January 27, 2012


J.D. Salinger: A Life
The National Bestseller is Now Available in Paperback

Salinger Cover “The reclusive Salinger...seems to have found that ideal reader in...Kenneth Slawenski author of a new life of Salinger that is earnest, sympathetic and perceptive.” The New York Times

“Sympathetic and insightful…Slawenski has written a terrific literary biography, one that jolts the reader into realizing why Catcher connects with readers 60 years after its publication” USA Today

"Slawenski has greatly fleshed out and pinned down an elusive story with precision and grace." Chicago Sun-Times

“The best Salinger biography to date…Slawenski's subdued storytelling and concise literary analysis make this not just a trivia-filled tome, but also a delightful read… J.D. Salinger: A Life discloses much, but it also makes us want to track down and reread the work whose creation is magnificently detailed in these pages.”    Seattle Times

"J.D. Salinger is an invaluable contribution to our knowledge of the man, his demons and the literary legacy that was his most unselfish gift." People

When J.D. Salinger: A Life was first published in hardcover last year, USA Today hailed it as “insightful” while the Washington Post deemed it “a welcome picture of one of the most singular characters in American letters.” Now available for the first time in paperback, published to coincide with the second anniversary of Salinger's death, J.D. SALINGER: A Life (Random House Trade Paperbacks; January 3, 2012) by Kenneth Slawenski is an authoritative biography of the elusive, mysterious, and iconic writer. Slawenski draws from years of research – as well as new letters and photos released since Salinger's death – to shed light for the first time on many unknown events in the life of this extremely private author.
Long a frustrating subject to biographers, J.D. Salinger is revealed in full through Slawenski's passionate rendering and sharp insights. Slawenski expertly chronicles the turning points and influencers in Salinger's life, astutely tracing his journey from Park Avenue playboy to Cornish, New Hampshire recluse; from the trenches of World War II to the halls of the New Yorker ; from his romance with Oona O'Neill (later Mrs. Charlie Chaplin) to his friendship with Ernest Hemingway; and from an apathetic student to one of the 20 th century's greatest American writers.

J.D. Salinger: A Life may be ordered from booksellers nationwide, including the Random House website, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.com.

January 3, 2012


Teaching Salinger's NINE STORIES

Salinger CoverJust in time for the holidays, New Street Communications has published a fresh and authoritative exploration of Salinger's second book, the classic Nine Stories collection. Authored by Brad McDuffie and containing compelling analysis from nine outstanding contributors, Teaching Salinger's NINE STORIES is a must-read for academics and Salinger fans alike.

In Teaching Salinger's NINE STORIES, Brad McDuffie has compiled far more than a teaching aide. He provides an examination of Salinger's Nine Stories that is forensically detailed and thought provoking. Presented in two parts, the first section provides compelling overviews of each story, while the second offers a series of impressive essays contributed by eminent academics. Still, the book's greatest value may be in its ability to display the interaction between each separate story, revealing Salinger's Nine Stories to be a unified work of art. This achievement is long overdue and is an innovative and invaluable resource.

Read more :November 27, 2011

September 14, 2011: Franny and Zooey at 50

Salinger Cover

September 14 marks the fifty year anniversary of the publication of Franny and Zooey, Salinger's incisive examination of the search for spirituality in modern-day America. The book was an immediate success and is widely regarded to rest among the most important works of American literature. As it has for many, the book has meant a great deal to me over the years, managing, like The Catcher in the Rye, to shift and remold just as I have grown and repositioned. So, in honor of the book's influence on American literature as well as to me personally, I would like to offer a pair of trributes in observance of its anniversary.
The first is a guest blog written for the Library of America that appears on the lliterary site, Reader's Almanac. I'd like to thank the LoA for their kind invitation and their clear enthusiasm for Salinger's works.
The second is a more intimate essay, an admittedly whimsical musing over a recent reread of Franny and Zooey in preperation for the anniversary. The post is titled "Applauding Franny and Zooey" and is contained on this site. I hope readers find both efforts informative and enjoyable.

So, Happy Birthday, Franny and Zooey. Happy Birthday, old buddies...

September 14, 2011

July 16, 2011: Happy 60th Birthday to The Catcher in the Rye

Salinger Cover

Catching On

J. D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye turns sixty today. The novel was immediately popular, and not just with bestseller buyers and book-of-the-month subscribers. William Faulkner ranked Catcher in the Rye as the best novel by the new generation of writers, and described Holden as a modern Huck Finn, the difference being that Huck, after withdrawing from humanity, returned to it:
"[Holden's] tragedy was that when he attempted to enter the human race, there was no human race there. There was nothing for him to do save buzz, frantic and inviolate, inside the glass wall of his tumbler, until he either gave up or was himself, by himself, by his own frantic buzzing, destroyed."

Read More from the Barnes & Noble Daybook

July 16, 2011


The Morgan to Display New Addition to its J.D. Salinger Collection

Salinger CoverThis summer, The Morgan Library and Museum will exhibit a new acquisition to its J.D. Salinger collection: a recently discovered letter written by the author to his friend, Michael Mitchell, who designed the dust jacket for the original edition of The Catcher in the Rye . The letter is dated July 7, 1994 and contains Salinger's description of a three-week vacation in Europe.* The contents are especially intriguing and often humorous. Salinger complains about his deteriorating hearing, reports on the impossibility of finding “a decent, huge green salad” in any European city (a subtle metaphor), and concludes by telling Mitchell that he maintains his customary writing routine.
The document will be on public display for the first time. The Morgan is located at 237 Madison Avenue at 36th Street, New York, NY .

*(During Salinger's 1994 European trip, he visited with noted Christian Scientist author John Hargreaves in London, traveled to Kafka's home in Prague and took in Vienna, his first return to the Austrian capital since 1978, when he toured the city with his son, Matthew.)

June 1, 2011


Faith Middleton Show: J.D. Salinger

Salinger Cover Will Hochman has been called a “walking encyclopedia of all things J.D. Salinger”. Professor of English at Southern Connecticut State University, he is also the author of several books, Critical Companion to J. D. Salinger among them. Recently, Dr. Hochman gave an interview to WNPR's Faith Middleton Show that displayed both his insight and generosity. I thought his points of view were spot-on and would like to share them with interested viewers.

February 20, 2011


J.D. Salinger: A Life
New Salinger Biography Published by Random House

Salinger Cover

“J. D. Salinger: A Life,” by Kenneth Slawenski , is earnest, vigorously researched and revealing ...without resorting to voyeuristic speculation... Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

In addition to new facts, "J. D. Salinger" sees the fiction from a fresh perspective. Slawenski may be the reader Salinger always wanted: He gives his heart to the work. Roger Lathbury, The Washington Post

It is unlikely that any author will do a better job than Mr. Slawenski capturing the glory of Salinger's life—that for all his meanness and pettiness, he never relinquished the sacred duty he felt called upon to perform. He was a good soldier in the service of literature. If his dedication, in human terms, is rather terrifying, it is also awe-inspiring. Carl Rollyson, The Wall Street Journal

A plethora of new information about the mysterious and reclusive author, along with a surprisingly insightful analysis of each of Salinger's major published works.    W. P. Kinsella

Dead Caulfields is happy to announce that on January 25, Random House has published the first new Salinger biography to appear in over a decade. J.D. Salinger: A Life is proudly authored by the creator of Dead Caulfields and debuted at #19 on The New York Times Best Sellers List. Previously published in the U.K. to wide critical acclaim, the U.S. edition has been reworked and updated, its date of publication chosen to observe a year since Salinger's passing as well as to celebrate the 60th anniversary of The Catcher in the Rye .
The mission of J.D. Salinger is to shed light onto the author's famously shadowed life while providing unique insights and information affecting his works. The book is designed to concentrate on the years spanning Salinger's career and delivers a deeper understanding of a near-mythical figure by offering an examination of his complex and fascinating life balanced by an exploration of the works he was producing at the time. In doing so, J.D. Salinger also seeks to inspire, to encourage readers to view Salinger with fresh eyes, and to return to his writings with renewed appreciation, as if reading each word for the first time.

J.D. Salinger: A Life may be ordered from the Random House website, as well as through Borders, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.com.
An adaptation titled "Holden Caulfield's Goddam War" is featured in the February issue of Vanity Fair. Major features also appear in TIME, People, and Oprah magazines as well as USAToday and The San Francisco Chronicle.

Read more :February 20, 2011


Once-Explosive Salinger Case Ends with a Whimper

firefox-gray The case of Salinger v. Colting, initiated on June 1, 2009 when J.D. Salinger filed a formal legal complaint against a Swedish/British publication claiming to be an unauthorized sequel to The Catcher in the Rye, has finally come to a quiet, if somewhat shadowed conclusion. The case, once shrilly covered by the media and seemingly destined for the Supreme Court, ended on December 14, 2010 when Fredrik Colting, author of the intended sequel, 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye, and the Salinger estate arrived at what has been legally termed a "confidential settlement agrreement". As a result, Colting and the backers of 60 Years Later have agreed to a permanent injunction of their book in the United States, and have relinquished any recourse to appeal. A copy of the final settlement is provided here. It contains no disclosure of the quid pro quo involved. Background documents and other information can be accessed after the jump.

Read more : December 14, 2010


Joyce Maynard on J.D. Salinger's death


Joyce Maynard was stepping off the plane in San Francisco from Ethiopia, where she had adopted two young girls, when she heard the news: Her onetime love, the reclusive writer J.D. Salinger, had just died.

"How did I feel?" Maynard asked of that day in late January. "Ohhh, I felt sadness, but also relief. Relief that I was no longer defined by the past, that I was no longer concerned with the rearview mirror, but was, instead, looking at the road ahead."

Read more: September 15, 2010


The Unlikely Connection between J.D. Salinger, Keith Olbermann, "Red" Reeder & Carlton Fisk

firefox-grayIt comes to us via Keith Olbermann that the foundation of Salinger's house was poured in 1966 by a young Carlton Fisk, who would achieve his own immortality as the legendary catcher for the Boston Rex Sox. An avid member of The Nation, Salinger was naturally proud of the connection and, ignoring The Catcher in the Rye , weighed it as his greatest claim to fame.
Olbermann was alerted to this small but fascinating revelation contained in a letter written by Salinger in 1989. Now on the auction block, the letter is addressed to Colonel Russell “Red” Reeder, Salinger's commander for five months during the Second World War who is famous for having heroically led the 12 th Infantry Regiment ashore on D-Day and for having sacrificed his leg during the battle for Normandy .
Salinger does a rare thing in this noteworthy document. He briefly reflects upon the war and its effects, and does so in a manner familiar to readers of his works:

“I do most solemnly agree with you that those old years touched our lives deeply. The 12th Infantry, the Fourth Division itself ...”

Anyone who has read and values “For Esmé – with Love and Squalor” will recognize the significance of Salinger's ellipsis. As in “For Esmé”, the fire is contained between the words – embedded in what is not being written – rather than spooned out by the author, and to great effect.

The Boston Red Sox connection is interesting but perhaps more significant, Salinger's letter to Colonel Reeder retrieves the soldier who remained within the author forty-three years after the war. The message is affectingly deferential to a former commander and ends not with a civilian expression, but with a military salute.

August 13, 2010


A Midsummer Update

firefox-grayIt's been more than six months since Salinger's death and public interest has predictably drifted back to more immediate issues, to skirmishes in the culture wars and sagas of celebrities' lives. Still, a number of Salinger-related events have occurred in the past few months that, while perhaps not as compelling as the tribulations of Snookie or Lindsay Lohan, may be of interest to admirers of the late author's works.

Between March 16 and May 8, Manhattan 's Morgan Library & Museum displayed eleven letters sent by J.D. Salinger to his friend Michael Mitchell, illustrator of the original cover image of The Catcher in the Rye. Dating from 1951 to 1993, the letters were respectfully displayed in two installments and elicited considerable attention by the press and public alike.

Another letter, one sent by Salinger to Ernest Hemingway in 1945, was exhibited at Boston 's JFK Presidential Library during the last weekend of March. This letter's display also ignited substantial interest in the media as exemplified by an excellent article by Brad McDuffie that originally appeared in the Kansas City Star. While the Hemingway letter had long been available to researchers, the very existence of Mitchell letters had been held secret by the Morgan until after Salinger's passing. In fact, it is unlikely that any of these displays would have been possible during Salinger's lifetime.

Improbable – if not impossible – too was the July re-release of Salinger's 1944 story “A Boy in France” by The Saturday Evening Post . Offered as a tribute to the late author, the story's consoling coupling of poetry and prose speaks as eloquently to a nation at war now as it did when first published in 1945.

The Supreme Court's newest justice also has a Salinger connection. In 1987, now-Justice Kagan submitted an amicus brief to the high court requesting it hear Salinger's case against author Ian Hamilton, whose Salinger biography was being challenged in the courts. For those interested, the brief can be read here.
Spoiler Alert: She sides with Hamilton .

August 8, 2010


Appellate Court Returns Salinger Case for Reconsideration

firefox-gray In a decision returned on Friday, April 30, 2010, the Federal Court of Appeals for the Southern Circuit has ordered that the Salinger v Colting case will return to District Court and requested that District Court Judge Deborah Batts amend her original verdict. On July 1, 2009, Judge Batts ruled in favor of J.D. Salinger and placed a preliminary injunction on what she determined to be an unlawful sequel to The Catcher in the Rye. In returning the case to District Court for reconsideration, the Appeals Court did not dispute the merits of the lower court decision, determining the defense's claim that the sequel is unique enough to avoid Salinger's copyright to be "manifestly meritless". However, the Appellate Court also concluded that Judge Batts had used an insufficient standard when imposing the injunction by assuming the extent of irreparable harm to Salinger's estate. Returning the case to District Court, the appellate judges requested that Batts apply a stricter standard (more sympathetic to Colting's position) when reviewing her decision:

Because the District Court considered only the first of the four factors that, under eBay and our holding today, must be considered before issuing a preliminary injunction, we vacate and remand the case. But in the interest of judicial economy, we note that there is no reason to disturb the District Court’s conclusion as to the factor it did consider—namely, that Salinger is likely to succeed on the merits of his copyright infringement claim (22).

So the sequel case has itself become a sequel, a situation no less fantastical than the concept of "judicial economy". As a result, the preliminary injunction against Colting's book now expires in 10 days. In the meantime, Salinger's estate must re-petition the District Court for a new injunction in order to prevent the sequel's publication in the United States.

Read more : April 30, 2010


J.D. Salinger Poem

firefox-graySalinger loved poetry. Many of his stories are rooted in verse and numerous of his characters were designed as poets.” A Boy in France ” recalls the verse of Dickinson and of Blake, “A Perfect Day for Bananafish and “The Inverted Forest” invoke the work of T.S. Eliot. “Teddy” relays the words of Basho, while Salinger's later Glass stories invoke the rhyme of Issa and a myriad of Eastern poets. Seymour Glass was a poet. Raymond Ford was a poet. Teddy McArdle wrote poetry in his diary just as Allie Caulfield consoled his boredom by scribbling poems onto his southpaw mitt while in the field.
J.D. Salinger was himself a poet. While overseas during the war, he submitted at least 15 poems to The New Yorker – with such frequency that the magazine's poetry editors began to complain. Yet, despite these submissions (each of which were rejected) and Salinger's obvious reverence for the art-form, not a single Salinger poem has ever been found. Until now…

Read more : April 15, 2010


Last Taps from Valley Forge

firefox-grayWith great sadness, Valley Forge Military Academy & College announces the passing of notable alumnus, Jerome D. Salinger '36.
Salinger died of natural causes at his home on Wednesday, the author's son said in a statement from Salinger's longtime literary representative, Harold Ober Agency . He had lived for decades in self-imposed isolation in the small, remote house in Cornish, N.H.
Known for "The Catcher in the Rye" and "Nine Stories", Salinger also penned the poem, "Hide Not Thy Tears" while he was a cadet at VFMA; now sung at both Academy and College commencement ceremonies.

Read more : January 28, 2010


J.D. Salinger Passes On

firefox-gray It is with feelings of sadness and loss that Dead Caulfields shares the news of the death of J.D. Salinger, who passed away at his home in Cornish, New Hampshire on Wednesday, January 27. According to his long time agent Phyllis Westberg, speaking on behalf of the Salinger family, the author died of natural causes and in keeping with his wishes, no public memorial is planned. However, I would like to offer a suggestion to all who seek to honor the legendary writer at this time: Read. Explore, whether for the first time or twenty, The Catcher in the Rye, read Nine Stories, Franny and Zooey, Raise High and Seymour. Re-experience Salinger's works in tribute to the author who is so deeply embedded within them. Salinger the man may be gone from us now - and the world is an emptier place for that - but he will always live within the pages he created, and through his art remain as vital today and tomorrow as when he strolled the boulevards of New York and the woods of New Hampshire.
Sympathy and respect goes out to the Salinger family. Reflections by The New Yorker can he read here.
A typical review of Salinger's legacy is offered below, courtesy of NBC News.

January 28, 2010


A Life Raised High

firefox-gray Since 2004, I have devoted myself to researching and respectfully crafting a comprehensive study of author J.D. Salinger coupled with a tribute to his writings. I would like to announce that work is complete and thanks to Pomona Press, available to readers.
Viewers familiar with this site will trust that I have demanded of myself a high level of integrity while writing this book - that it is a true labor of love. In short, A Life Raised High seeks to present an account of Salinger's life that is both sweeping and intimate, a far richer story than has yet been told. Equally important, it delivers genuine appreciation of Salinger's writings and a recognition that Salinger's own story is inseperable from the characters and worlds he created.
For those interested, here is a Times review of the book by eminent author and critic Peter Ackroyd as well as a review by Ferdinand Mount for The Spectator and Tom Payne for the Telegraph. Scans of Craig Brown's review for the Mail on Sunday and a review by Brian Morton for The Observer are also available.

Publication date: March 15, 2010


Tributes to J.D. Salinger on his 91st Birthday

firefox-grayOn New Year's Day, 2010, J.D. Salinger observed his 91st birthday at his home in Cornish, New Hampshire. Although the media acknowledgements of the occasion were muted in comparison to last year, when the author reached a milestone at 90, there were quite a number of congratulatory and insightful articles in newspapers, magazines and on the web. An especially exceptional article was written by Sam Buntz of The Dartmouth entitled "The Catcher in Cornish". In short, Mr. Buntz has got it spot-on with a perception not expressed since John Updike and Eudora Welty pondered Salinger's psyche and gifts to the world in their own unique ways decades ago. Bravo and thank you, Mr. Buntz.

January 1, 2010


2009 - Salinger v Colting: an Overview

firefox-grayFor those not clued into All-Things-Salinger, here is a video synopsis of J.D. Salinger's latest legal melée, courtesy of Reuters.
The clip will hopefully serve as a segue into the information offered after the jump, which follows the trial through the presentation of rather in-depth but fascinating legal documents.
Simply put, the author is attempting to prevent the publication of an unauthorized sequel to The Catcher in the Rye; but the case has taken on far-reaching implications concerning the First Amendment and the ownership of art...

Read more : September 7, 2009


Stories Chronology

firefox-gray Dead Caulfields celebrates its new domains by offering a new page. Authorship Chronology with Explanations lists every story that Salinger is known to have written during his publishing career and attempts to place each in the order they were written rather than the usual listing by publication dates.
Admittedly, the page is in-depth and might not suit all tastes, but those who are curious to follow the evolution of J.D. Salinger as an author will hopefully find the information interesting.

Read more : September 20, 2009


J.D. Salinger turns 90


On January 1, 2009, J.D. Salinger celebrated his 90th birthday at his home in Cornish, New Hampshire.
It had been my intention to present a selection of newspaper and Internet tributes marking the occasion, hyperlinked for readers' review. My only question was whether there would be enough of a choice. Had Salinger so effectively removed himself from public consciousness that the date would go unnoticed?
I shouldn't have worried. On New Year's Day, long articles recognizing the anniversary stormed the Web fast and furious. It was news in Russia , in Taiwan and India . The Scottish press wondered (longingly) if Salinger might not return to their shores, embracing him as one of their own ? a quasi-American Bard Burns. Fox News prasied his longevity, attributing it to his distance from Us and recognizing the value of this site. (Read the article here. Scroll past Oprah.)
At first glance, it all seemed right and proper.
Sadly and surprisingly however, a closer look revealed that most articles were not tributes at all, but angry rebukes at an author who had dared to defy the norm. Some were simply misinformed (a long New York Times article falls into this category) while others were violently mean-spirited (a certain British review leaps to mind here), some calling Salinger crazy, or blaming him for the insanity of others. Most used the occasion of Salinger's birthday to chastise him for refusing to publish. Some went on to re-review "Hapworth 16, 1924," as if their writers were angry over not having had their chance in 1965, many hanging Seymour Glass in literary effigy while they were at it. While the tone of resentment varied from article to article, nearly all were presented with an intensity that confirms the high level of emotion that Salinger still ignites.
I hope that such journalists and critics feel better now. But I will not post links to their articles. I hope they've gotten it all out of their system. Chances are good that the next time they will be called upon to comment on the life of J.D. Salinger the circumstance will not be as lighthearted as a birthday, and their haughty scoldings of a great author might not be so willingly accepted by a reading public that clearly still reveres him.

January 1, 2009