Stories

stories studies

Chronology

Authorship Chronology

with Explanations

jds

Including The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger published thirty-six stories during the course of his career. Another nine unpublished stories are known to exist, seven of which are available within the archives of Princeton University and the University of Texas at Austin. In addition, between 1939 and 1951, the author is known to have penned at least seventeen other stories that went unpublished and are now considered lost.
While lists of Salinger's works compiled by publication date are common, it is difficult to find any that include his unpublished works and fewer that attempt to chronicle Salinger stories in the order they were wriiten rather than published.
Below is a list of all known Salinger works for which there is reliable documentation – published, unpublished, and lost. They are itemized in chronological order rather than by publication date and hopefully determine, as closely as possible, exactly when Salinger wrote each one. Some of these dates and theories may be wrong, I admit. But each conclusion is supported by solid research (some of which is offered here) as well as an informed intuition


1. "The Young Folks” – By November 1939

J. D. Salinger received his first acceptance letter on January 17 1940 from Whit Burnett and Story magazine for his story “The Young Folks,” which was published that March. It has long been assumed that this first Salinger piece was accepted and published directly by Burnett due to his close relationship with Salinger as teacher and mentor. However, in a letter written by Salinger to Whit Burnett dated November 21 1939, Salinger reported having personally submitted “the story” to the offices of Collier's magazine. While not named in this letter, “the story” undoubtedly refers to “The Young Folks,” rejected by Collier's in November before being accepted by Burnett in January. “The Young Folks” therefore was completed by late 1939.

 

* “The Survivors” (Lost) – Early 1940

Several letters date this unpublished story at various stages of its construction. The title first appeared in a letter from Salinger to Whit Burnett dated March 1 1940 while the story was still being written. It appeared again in a September 19, 1940 letter in which Salinger reminded Burnett that he had previously reviewed the piece and subsequently rejected it. Salinger resubmitted it at this time after having reworked it and changed the ending. On October 24, Whit Burnett rejected it a second and final time. There is a possibility that some form of this piece was begun in 1939 while Salinger was attending Burnett 's writing class at Columbia .

 

* An Unnamed Hotel Story (Lost) - August 1940

On August 8 1940, Salinger sent a postcard to Whit Burnett from Quebec, Canada, of a large hotel. In it, he reported having found new inspiration in Canada and having begun a new story of unusually long length. On September 4, Salinger wrote that he had just completed “a long story on the lobby sitters in a summer hotel.” Two days later, he related having sent the story to his agent Jacques Chambrun, sarcastically remarking that he had instructed Chambrun to submit the piece to the Saturday Evening Post . It appears probable that all references relate to the same unnamed story.

 

2. “Go See Eddie” – By April 1940

Salinger expressed regret over Story magazine's rejection of “Go See Eddie” in a letter dated April 17, 1940, calling the story by name. On the following day, Whit Burnett wrote to Salinger suggesting that he submit the effort to Esquire . They too rejected the story, and it was not published until December 1940 by The Kansas City Review.

 

*“Harry Jesus” – January 1942

In a letter to Marjorie Sheard dated January, 1942, Salinger stated that he was working on a story entitled “Harry Jesus”, which he said would "doubtless tear the country's heart out, and return the thing a new and far richer organ." The story, which remains unpublished—and was perhaps uncompleted—likely involved Salinger's childhood best friend, Harry Simon, a scholar and spiritual savant whose tragic death had occurred just a year before.

 

3. “The Hang of It” – Spring 1941

“The Hang of It” was published by Collier's on July 12 1941. By then, Salinger had attempted to enlist in the Army and been refused due to a minor health condition. The resulting frustration is absent in “The Hang of It,” which depicts Army life in a completely positive light. This tone suggests that “The Hang of It” was completed before Salinger 's deferral by the military. Documentation exists as early as September 6 1940 in which Salinger expressed his determination to join the Army. The reference is such however, that it indicates his having made the decision well before this date. These circumstances date this story to spring 1941, with the possibility that it might have been started earlier, perhaps while Salinger was serving aboard the Kungsholm and recognized the saleability of such scripts.

 

* “The Lovely Dead Girl at Table Six” (Lost) September 1941.

In August 1941, Salinger spent two weeks at the Beekman Towers Hotel in Manhattan , attempting to write. Upon ending his stay, he wrote that his time at the Beekman had been “not overly-productive” but had resulted in the short story, “The Lovely Dead Girl at Table Six.” This apparent contradiction lends to the suspicion that the story was actually an early draft of “Slight Rebellion Off Madison.”

 

4. “The Heart of a Broken Story” – By May 1941

Salinger had submitted this story by May 16 1941, the date of a letter written by Whit Burnett in which he congratulated Salinger for its submission to Esquire . Although Burnett did not name the story in this letter, the probability is strong that it refers to “The Heart of a Broken Story” because a similar reference was made by Burnett on December 17 to having read “the Esquire piece.” Esquire published “The Heart of a Broken Story” in September 1941.

 

* “Lunch for Three” (Lost) By February 1941

Files of The New Yorker show seven Salinger stories rejected in 1941. Their identities appear without effort. They include the three stories published that year in other magazines. On February 14 1941, New Yorker editor John Mosher wrote Dorothy Olding a note regretting the rejection of “Lunch for Three.” On June 3 1941, Olding wrote to Martha Foley at Story Press that she was sending the story to them for consideration. A memo at Ober Associates, however, indicates that Foley did not receive “Lunch for Three” until June 7.

 

5. “The Long Debut of Lois Taggett” – By September 1941

Published in September 1942, Whit Burnett accepted this piece for Story magazine in a letter to Dorothy Olding dated July 9, 1942. Ober Associates' notes report that it had been submitted exactly six months before. However, in a letter to Elizabeth Murray dated October 31 the previous year, Salinger informed her that “The Long Debut of Lois Taggett” was under consideration at the offices of Mademoiselle after having been returned by The New Yorker . This places the completion of “the Long Debut of Lois Taggett” to early September 1941.

 

6. “Slight Rebellion Off Madison” – By October 1941

Published by The New Yorker on December 22 1946, five years separate the authoring of this story from its release. In an October 31 1941 letter to Elizabeth Murray , Salinger proudly announced the sale of “Slight Rebellion Off Madison” to The New Yorker . On December 12, he reported its expected upcoming publication to Col. Milton Baker of Valley Forge Military Academy . On December 17, Salinger received a congratulatory note from Whit Burnett regarding the story's New Yorker acceptance. In 1943, while revising the story at The New Yorker 's request, Salinger briefly renamed it "Are You Banging Your Head Against the Wall?" – calling it by that title in a letter to Burnett . The brief name change may well have been a serious consideration, but it is more likely to have been an example of Salinger 's acidic sarcasm.

 

* “Paula” aka “Mrs. Hincher” (Unpublished) By December 1941

On Halloween 1941, Salinger reported to Elizabeth Murray that this story, which he then called “Mrs. Hincher,” was near completion. On August 1 1961, Sally Edwards of Stag magazine reported to Salinger bibliographer Donald Fiene that Stag had accepted this piece, by then renamed “Paula,” in early 1942 but had failed to publish and subsequently lost it. The available version, located at The Harry Ransom Center of the University of Texas, is an unfinished draft of this story.

 

* “Monologue for a Watery Highball” (Lost) 1941

The title of this story appears in the kill (rejection) files of The New Yorker for the year 1941.

 

* “I Went to School with Adolph Hitler” (Lost) 1941

The title of this story appears in the kill (rejection) files of The New Yorker for the year 1941.

 

* “The Kissless Life of Reilly” (Lost) By January 1 1942. Top

On January 2 1942, Salinger reported the completion of this story to Whit Burnett, identifying it by title. His comment that the plot involved a suicide may have been sarcasm. A February 26 1942 rejection letter from William Maxwell of The New Yorker to Harold Ober likely refers to this story. On September 10 1942, it was submitted by Dorothy Olding to Story magazine, which also rejected it.

 

* “Holden Caulfield On the Bus” (Lost) Early 1942

A rejection letter from The New Yorker, undated, but later than February 1942, criticizes the character of Holden Caulfield in a sequel to “Slight Rebellion Off Madison” that was sent to the magazine by Salinger after the rejection of “The Kissless Life of Riley.” The title of this story is a recollection of A. E. Hotchner from his 1987 book Choice People .

 

* “The Last and Best of the Peter Pans” (Unpublished) Early 1942

The circumstances of this story date it. Salinger completed his own enlistment papers on April 27 1942. This story was doubtless written around that date and completed by June 8, when Salinger reported from Fort Monmouth that he had ceased writing.

 

7. “Personal Notes of an Infantryman” Late 1942

Collier 's published “Personal Notes of an Infantryman” on December 12, 19 42. The nature of this story indicates that Salinger wrote it quickly. On November 25 1942, Whit Burnett sent a letter to Salinger 's agent rejecting an unnamed story. This rejection letter may refer to “Personal Notes of an Infantryman” but it is more likely that Salinger submitted this story to Collier's before Burnett had the opportunity to reject it.

 

* “Men Without Hemingway” (Lost) Late 1942

In December of 1942, Salinger described this story to Elizabeth Murray as, "a satire on the sort of postwar novel young and hectic writers will turn out after [the war]." Early in 1943, it was rejected by The New Yorker and soon disappeared.

 

* “Over the Sea Let's Go, Twentieth Century Fox” (Lost) Late 1942 – Early 1943

This story also appears in the rejection files of The New Yorker for early 1943.

 

* “The Broken Children” (Lost) Late 1942

Salinger wrote of this story at length in an undated letter to Whit Burnett from Bainbridge, Georgia . The letter noted that the story, which Salinger mentioned by name, was being sent to Story magazine by his agent. The letter can be dated to late December 1942 or early 1943, as it contains a photograph of Salinger and two friends taken on Christmas Day 1942. Because Salinger expressed his extreme fondness for this story in the letter, it is likely that he had previously submitted it to at least The New Yorker before it went to Burnett , dating the story to late 1942. A February 10 1943 rejection letter from Whit Burnett likely applies to this story.

 

8. “The Varioni Brothers” - Late 1942-Early 1943 Top

Salinger 's agent sold “The Varioni Brothers” to The Saturday Evening Post in April of 1943 and it was published on July 17. However, it appears that Salinger had completed this story, at least in some form, by the time he wrote Whit Burnett the Bainbridge letter accompanied by the Christmas photograph (no later than the beginning of 1943). That letter informed Burnett that the “The Varioni Brothers” had been sent to Hollywood , which had expressed an interest in adapting it to film. Although Salinger did not name the story in this early letter, his description of it leaves no doubt as to its identity.

* “Rex Passard on the Planet Mars” (Lost) circa April 1943

Salinger first mentioned this story by name in a letter to Whit Burnett. Although undated, the letter reported the recent sale of “The Varioni Brothers,” placing it around April 1943. In a July 17 1943 letter to Burnett , Salinger again mentioned this story by name, calling it “clean as a whistle” and voicing his intentions of submitting it (and its contemporary “Bitsy”) to The Saturday Evening Post . An August 19 rejection letter from Whit Burnett to Dorothy Olding likely concerns this story. It has since dissapeared.

 

* “Bitsy” (Lost) March – July 1943

Salinger first referred to this story by name in a letter to a friend dated June 7 1943. At that time, he reported that he was still working on the piece. In a letter to the same friend mailed from Fairfield Ohio , Salinger later reported having completed the story. The latter letter is undated, but refers to the recent publication of “The Varioni Brothers,” which occurred on July 17. The aproximate date that Salinger began this story is derived from a letter he sent to Whit Burnett from Bainbridge Georgia in March 1943. In it, Salinger commented that he had just begun a new story about a beautiful girl, a possible reference to “Bitsy.” Salinger was very attached to this story but his agent refused to submit it for publication and Whit Burnett rejected it (most likely that October).

 

9. “Soft Boiled Sergeant” aka “Death of a Dogface” – Early 1943

Published by The Saturday Evening Post on April 15, 1944, circumstantial evidence indicates that “Soft Boiled Sergeant” was actually written by Salinger a year earlier. Salinger wrote to Whit Burnett in April or May 1943 that he was writing several stories, some of which he worked on during a trip home to New York that month. Although he did not name this story as one being worked, its tolerant tone regarding the Army strongly indicates that it was penned before Salinger 's transfer to Nashville by June 2 1943, and his subsequent depression. According to Salinger 's agent at Ober Associates, the story was sold to The Saturday Evening Post during the second week of January 1944.

 

10. “Both Parties Concerned” aka “Wake Me When it Thunders” – Mid-1943

Sold to The Saturday Evening Post in January 1944, and published by them on February 20 1944, logic points to the probability that Salinger actually wrote this story during the spring – summer of 1943, after the April sale of “The Varioni Brothers” to The Post . At that time, Salinger claimed to have begun a number of stories intended for that magazine. Also at that time, Salinger 's personal correspondence frequently mentioned his desire to marry. As marriage is a topic of this particular story, it is likely that he penned it at this time.

 

* “What Got Into Curtis in the Woodshed” (Lost) 1943

The only appearance of this title is from a list of Salinger works documented by Ober Associates and dated April 10, 1945. However, a memo at Story Press handwritten either 1943 or early 1944 describes a rejected story about “A Goofy kid [that] is taken on a fishing trip.” That the memo actually refers to “What Got Into Curtis in the Woodshed” is sheer creative conjecture; but because Salinger does not refer to the story in 1944 when listing the pieces he wrote that year, it is very likely a 1943 work.

 

* “Paris” (Lost) By June 1943

In a letter written from Nashville in June 1943, Salinger told Elizabeth Murray that he had recently completed a bizarre fiction named “Paris,” the story of a Frenchman who kidnaps Adolph Hitler by sealing him into a trunk. Such a plot, unsuitable for its time, condemned the story to be rejected and it has since disappeared.

 

11. “Elaine” - Mid-1943

“Elaine” was not published by Story magazine until March 1945. However, Salinger cited its completion in a letter written from Fairfield Ohio . While the letter is undated, its contents and place of origin position it in late summer 1943. The story's length (noted by Salinger) and Salinger 's circumstances at the time make it probable that he worked on “Elaine” for quite some time, placing it mid-1943. While on furlough in New York City around October 1 1943, Salinger wrote Whit Burnett that he considered “Elaine” to be his finest work to date.

 

12. “Last Day of the Last Furlough” - By September 1943

Salinger first mentioned this story by name after its completion in a letter to Whit Burnett written from Park Avenue during his furlough of October 1 1943. The story was sold by Dorothy Olding to Saturday Evening Post during the second week of January 1944 and published on July 15, 1944.

 

13. “Once A Week Won't Kill You” - January – March 1944 Top

“Once A Week Won't Kill You” appears on a list of stories that Salinger completed in England before D-Day. Compiled by Salinger on May 2 1944, the list was sent to Whit Burnett. Salinger also reported having completed a story in London the preceding March that was either this piece or “The Children's Echelon.” Burnett purchased this story on October 26 and it was published in Story magazine in their November-December issue.

 

* “The Children's Echelon” aka “Total War Dairy” (Unpublished) February - May 1944

This title first appears in list of stories compiled by Salinger on September 9 1944. In a letter to Whit Burnett dated May 2 1944, Salinger described this story at length but referred to it as “Total War Diary.” Claiming to have just finished the story in the May 2 letter, Salinger admitted to having rewritten it. On March 19 1944, Salinger wrote that he had just completed a new story while in London . It is possible that this reference relates to the first draft of “The Children's Echelon” and that Salinger wavered between the two titles. Salinger sent this story to his agent on May 3 and, according to a handwritten memo at Story Press, Burnett rejected it later that year.

 

* “Two Lonely Men” (Unpublished) By May 1944

This title first appears in a list of stories supplied by Salinger on September 9 1944. In the accompanying letter, Salinger named “Two Lonely Men” as having been written between his arrival in England in January 1944 and D-Day. Although the story was never published, it also appears in an April 1945 list of Salinger stories compiled by Ober Associates as well as an early 1946 list compiled by Story Press . Along with “The Children's Echelon,” it survives today at Princeton University 's Firestone Library.

 

* “A Boy Standing in Tennessee” (Unpublished) Early 1944

Along with “Two Lonely Men,” Salinger cites in a September 9 1944 letter to Whit Burnett “Boy Standing in Tennessee ” as the best story he had written between January 22 and June 6 of that year. The title also appears on the Ober list of Salinger stories compiled on April 10 1945 and the early 1946 Story Press list. The piece was either lost or rewritten by Salinger into “This Sandwich Has No Mayonnaise.”

 

14. “This Sandwich Has No Mayonnaise” - 1944

Published by Esquire in October 1945, available Salinger records and correspondence contain no reference to this story. Neither does it appear on any contemporary lists of Salinger stories. There are two major possibilities regarding this story. Salinger may have altered his early 1944 story “Boy Standing in Tennessee ” and reworked it into “This Sandwich Has No Mayonnaise.” The piece could otherwise have been written by Salinger in late 1944, referenced as being incomplete and unnamed in a September 9 1944 letter to Whit Burnett.

 

15. “I'm Crazy” - By May 2 1944

In a letter to Whit Burnett dated May 2 1944, Salinger claimed to have “about six Holden Caulfield Stories” in his possession. He later referred to this story by its title in a September 9 1944 list of works completed before D-Day. Soon afterwards, “I'm Crazy” was submitted to Burnett , who returned it rejected on October 26 19 44. Resubmitted to Collier's after the war, it was published by them on December 22 1945.

 

* “The Magic Foxhole” (Unpublished) 1944, After June 6

The title of this unpublished story was recorded by Salinger on September 9 1944 and named as one of three having been written since D-Day. Its circumstances indicate that it was the first story that Salinger completed after entering combat. In a May 13 1945 letter to Elizabeth Murray , Salinger acknowledged his acceptance that certain of his works penned during the war – this story certainly among them – were not publishable, considering the mind-set of the times.

 

16. “A Boy In France” - Late 1944

This is the second of three stories that Salinger reported to have begun between June 6 and September 9 1944. In his September 9 letter to Whit Burnett, Salinger had yet to settle on a title for this story. He wavered between calling it “What Babe Saw” or “Oh-la-la” before mercifully choosing “A Boy in France” instead. Salinger's citing of these alternate titles leave little doubt as to its actual identity. “A Boy in France” was published by the Saturday Evening Post on March 31 1945.

 

* “A Young Man in a Stuffed Shirt” (Unpublished) Late 1944

This story is a candidate for the third story that Salinger chronicles having written after D-Day 1944, yet unnamed when he referred to it on September 9 of that year. The title, “A Young Man in a Stuffed Shirt” first appeared on a list of Salinger stories compiled by Ober associates and dated April 10 1945. The story was still unpublished when, on November 7 1959, Whit Burnett requested permission to print it. Salinger refused and the story remains unpublished. Burnett 's 1959 description of “A Young Man in a Stuffed Shirt” as being “a wartime story” lends credibility to the assumption that it was the untitled story of Salinger 's 1944 list.

 

* “Daughter of the Late, Great Man” (Unpublished) By April 1945 Top

This title appears on the April 10 1945 Ober list of Salinger stories. It was not mentioned by Salinger in his September 1944 report to Burnett . The crush of late 1944 events make it unlikely that Salinger began this story before the early months of 1945. Whit Burnett possessed a copy of this story when, on November 7 1959, he requested permission to publish it. Salinger insisted Burnett return the story instead and it remains unseen by the public.

 

* “The Ocean Full of Bowling Balls” (Unpublished) Early 1945

This title first appears the Ober list of Salinger stories dated April 10 1945. The story contains a list of countries in which Salinger saw combat and that places its authorship during the waning months of the war. According to notes at Story Press, Salinger unsuccessfully submitted this story to Harper's Bazaar in 1946. Rejected, it was later resubmitted for publication in 1949 and again in 1950, at which time Salinger withdrew it. The story therefore remains unpublished. As a result of Salinger 's first-rejection contract with The New Yorker , it is also likely that this story was submitted to them in 1949, where it may appear in the magazine's “kill” files as “A Summer Accident.” The work survives at Princeton University 's Firestone Library.

 

17. “The Stranger” - By July 1945

“The Stranger” was published by Collier's (who renamed the story) on December 1 1945. It does not appear on the April 10 1945 list of Salinger stories compiled by Ober Associates. Salinger most likely referenced this story in a letter to Ernest Hemingway dated July 17 1945. In that letter, Salinger mentioned having written another of his “incestuous” stories. Since Hemingway had read “Last Day of the Last Furlough” the previous August, the allusion likely refers to a Babe and Mattie Gladwaller story, of which “The Stranger” is the last. It is therefore likely that Salinger began this story soon after the war's end on May 8 and completed it by July 17.

 

* “Birthday Boy” (Unpublished) - Summer 1946

“Birthday Boy” is an unpublished story held by the University of Texas . Its existence is undocumented and there are no available references to it among Salinger 's correspondence or lists of his short stories. However, on July 14 1946, Salinger wrote to Elizabeth Murray that he had completed his first story since his marriage in September 1945. While he called that story “The Male Goodbye,” the dialogue and plot of “Birthday Boy” increase the possibility that both titles belong to the same story. Regardless, the downbeat philosophy and technical unsteadiness of “Birthday Boy” place its authorship in mid – late 1946.

 

18. “A Young Girl in 1941 with No Waist at All” - By November 1946

On November 19 1946, Salinger wrote William Maxwell at The New Yorker that his agent was sending this story, recently finished, for consideration. The New Yorker turned the story down and it was published instead by Mademoiselle in May 1947.

 

19. “The Inverted Forest” - August-November 1946

Salinger mentioned this novella in a letter to William Maxwell dated November 19 1946. In it, he referred to “The Inverted Forest” by name and dated its construction, stating that it was days away from completion and that he had working on the piece since August. Never actually submitted to The New Yorker , “The Inverted Forest” was published by Cosmopolitan in December 1947.

 

20. “A Perfect Day for Bananafish” - December 1946 – January 1948

The first reference to this story appears in a letter dated January 22 1947 from William Maxwell to Ober Associates. In it, the editor expressed The New Yorker 's interest in the story, then titled “The Bananafish,” as well as their bewilderment over its meaning. The story's original creation can therefore be dated to December 1946 at the latest. Salinger met with Maxwell to work on this story a short time after the January 22 letter and again with Gus Lobrano after it was resubmitted and again sent back to Salinger during 1947. The New Yorker finally accepted the story in January 1948 but still had reservations over its title, which was then “A Fine Day for Bananafish.” On January 22 1948, Salinger wrote Gus Lobrano concerning the title and the story was published on January 31 1948 as “A Perfect Day for Bananafish.”

 

21. “A Girl I Knew” aka “Wien , Wien” - 1947

Published by Good Housekeeping in February 1948, “A Girl I Knew” was written during 1947, while Salinger was re-writing “A Perfect Day for Bananafish.” Specific dates for this story's authorship are not known but Gloria Murray claimed that, in 1949, Salinger mentioned having written the story quickly.

 

22. “Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut” - Early 1948 Top

The New Yorker published “Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut ” on March 20, 1948. Salinger moved to suburban Connecticut during the winter of 1947, and it is likely that he began this story shortly afterwards, certainly by January 1948 after having completed “A Perfect Day for Bananafish.”

 

23. “Blue Melody” aka “Needle on a Scratchy Phonograph Record” - Early 1948

Salinger 's story “Needle on a Scratchy Phonograph Record” was published in September 1948 by Cosmopolitan as “Blue Melody.” However, there is every indication that it was completed earlier that year. Stylistically, it is unlike any contemporary Salinger story, lending weight to the assumption that it was a re-worked much earlier piece. Thematically, it shares messages contained in both “A Perfect Day for Bananafish” and “A Girl I Knew” and was likely written along with those stories. In addition, the story contains a despondency (also found in “Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut”) that was broken by “Just Before the War with the Eskimos” in May 1948. These circumstances date the story's completion to before Salinger wrote “Just Before the War with the Eskimos” in Spring 1948. Its initial rejection by The New Yorker explains its belated publication.

 

24. “Pretty Mouth and Green My Eyes” – Early 1948

There is no available reference to this story. It was published by The New Yorker on July 14 1951, in an effort by the magazine to take advantage of the release of The Catcher in the Rye two days later. It is unlike any Salinger story written after mid-1948 and was likely penned before that time. The pessimistic philosophy that drives this story conveys the attitude Salinger held and displayed through his writings during 1946 – 1948, up until the time he wrote “Just Before the War with the Eskimos.” The writing of “Pretty Mouth and Green My Eyes” can very cautiously be attributed to the period between the winter of 1947, when Salinger moved to Stamford Connecticut , and the spring of 1948, when he completed “Just Before the War with the Eskimos.”

 

25. “Just Before the War with the Eskimos” – Spring 1948

The New Yorker published “Just Before the War with the Eskimos” on June 5 1948. There are no available documents that reference this story before its publication. However, its style and message indicate that it was completed shortly before its release and Salinger likely penned the story in early 1948.

 

26. “Down at the Dinghy” – Summer 1948

Salinger spent the summer of 1948 at a lakeside lodge in Wisconsin. A few weeks after returning home in September, he received a letter from Gus Lobrano rejecting an unnamed story. Distressed over the rebuff, it was not until October 12 that Salinger was able to respond to Lobrano, expressing his disappointments and resignation over the rejection. In another letter to Gus Lobrano dated January 14 1949, Salinger complained that he had submitted “Down at the Dinghy” to Harper's and that they had asked him to shorten it. Salinger made the changes that Harper's requested and “Down at the Dinghy” was published by them in April 1949. “Down at the Dinghy” had therefore already been rejected by The New Yorker by late 1948 and may have been the subject of Lobrano's September rejection notice. The story's setting makes it probable that Salinger penned “Dinghy” while staying at Lake Geneva during the summer of 1948.

 

27. “The Laughing Man” – Late 1948

“The Laughing Man” was published in The New Yorker on March 19 1949. Salinger refers to the story by name in a letter to Gus Lobrano dated January 14 1949, and it was likely completed shortly beforehand. Stylistically however, certain elements of the story are strikingly reminiscent of Salinger 's earlier works. It is possible that “The Laughing Man” was actually an earlier story re-worked for publication in 1949. It would be interesting to compare this story to Salinger 's 1941-1942 piece, “Holden Caulfield On the Bus,” which, according to A.E. Hotchner , Salinger was determined to re-write and submit to The New Yorker as late as 1946.

 

* “A Summer Accident” (Unpublished) By 1949

Aside from the title, nothing is known about this story except that it was rejected by The New Yorker in 1949. However, in 1961, Donald Fiene reported that “The Ocean Full of Bowling Balls” was submitted to Collier's in “1950 or 1951.” It would therefore have been first submitted to The New Yorker , probably in 1949. For that reason primarily, it is possible that “A Summer Accident” was some form of Salinger 's 1945 story, “The Ocean Full of Bowling Balls.”

 

* “The Boy in the People Shooting Hat” (Unpublished) By 1949

This title appears in an undated but clearly 1949 rejection letter to Dorothy Olding from Gus Lobrano . In the letter, Lobrano described the story's plot in detail, revealing it to be identical to much of Chapters 3-7 of The Catcher in the Rye .

 

28. “For Esmé - with Love and Squalor” – 1949 - Early 1950

“For Esmé - with Love and Squalor” was published in The New Yorker on April 6 1950. However, in February 1950, Salinger wrote to Gus Lobrano that he had shortened the story by six pages, indicating that it had already been submitted to the magazine and sent back to Salinger to be reworked. The alteration places the authorship of “For Esmé” between 1949 and early 1950.

 

29. The Catcher in the Rye – Winter 1940 – Summer 1950 Top

Published on July 16 1951, The Catcher in the Rye was written in installments over the course of ten years. Salinger's first reference to the novel appears on December 4 1940 in letters to Whit Burnett and Elizabeth Murray in which Salinger stated that he had worked out an idea for a novel in his mind. Two days later, Salinger wrote Burnett of his intention to join the army and to write the novel there. When Salinger was sent overseas during the Second World War, he put the project on hold, explaining to Burnett on May 2 1944 that he was fearful of ruining the novel in a military atmosphere. Until that time, Salinger had been writing the book as a series of short stories, which, on a number of occasions, he called his “ Holden Caulfield stories.” The first of these stories, “Slight Rebellion Off Madison,” had been completed and accepted by The New Yorker for publication in October 1941. Salinger did not mention the title The Catcher in the Rye until 1951, and referred to Holden Caulfield only as “the boy” until a letter written to a friend during the summer of 1943. However, there can be little doubt that Salinger 's original 1940 plans for a novel reference the eventual The Catcher in the Rye . On January 14 1944, Salinger wrote to Whit Burnett that his newly released story, “Last Day of the Last Furlough” “has mention of young Holden Caulfield – the kid in the book I want to do for Story Press.” Again, on May 2 1944, Salinger informed Burnett that he was writing the novel in the first person and that it was to be narrated by Holden Caulfield. In all, Salinger was known to have written at least four short stories with sections that he later incorporated into The Catcher in the Rye : “Slight Rebellion Off Madison,” finally released on December 22 1946; “I'm Crazy,” written by spring 1944 and published as an individual story on December 22 1945; "The Boy in the People Shooting Hat," a story that went unpublished after being rejected by The New Yorker in 1948 or 1949; and “The Ocean Full of Bowling Balls,” an unpublished story completed by spring 1944, and rejected by at least two magazines by 1950.

 

* “Requiem for the Phantom of the Opera” (Lost) Late 1950.

Salinger had finished this story by the end of 1950, making it his first attempt after completing The Catcher in the Rye . The story was named in a letter sent to Salinger by Gus Lobrano and dated January 25 1951. Lobrano's letter referred to an earlier rejection letter sent to Salinger through Dorothy Olding . In turning down “Requiem for the Phantom of the Opera,” Lobrano explained that the story was considered too “ingenious and ingrown” by The New Yorker editorial staff. The story was never published.

 

30. “De Daumier-Smith 's Blue Period” – By October 1951

In a letter dated November 14 1951, Gus Lobrano informed Salinger that he had “just returned the De Daumier-Smith story to Miss Olding ” and expressed his distress at being forced to reject it. Salinger replied the next day that he felt “pretty defeated about the rejection” but would persue another story instead. This was likely the story's second rejection by The New Yorker. In an undated letter to Lobrano mailed from Westport, Connecticut (and therefore written before Salinger left for England in May 1951), Salinger told Lobrano that he was re-typing the story one last time and would have it off to The New Yorker within a few days. This leaves seven months for the magazine to reject the first draft and for Salinger to rework and resubmit it before it was finally rejected in November. Salinger however, refused to accept the magazine's verdict and “ De Daumier-Smith 's Blue Period” was published in London 's World Review in May 1952.

 

31. “Teddy” – November 1951 – November 1952.

After The New Yorker 's rejection of “De Daumier Smith's Blue Period” on November 14 1951, Salinger stated his intention to have another look at one of a number of cruise stories he had “floating around” in his closet. On December 11, he reported to Jamie Hamilton that he was already working on a new story. Chances are that these statements refer to “ Teddy” because Salinger distinguished the story he was working on from a novel he had planned to write (and that undoubtedly involved the Glass family). Salinger did not report having completed “ Teddy ” until November 17 1952, in another letter to Jamie Hamilton . The New Yorker published “Teddy” on January 31 1953.

 

32. “Franny” – By December 1954

“Franny” first appeared in The New Yorker on January 29 1955. It is likely that Salinger had submitted the story by the end of November 1954 at the latest. By mid-December, the story had already been evaluated by the editorial staff of The New Yorker . On December 20 1954, Salinger wrote to Gus Lobrano that he was considering altering a portion of the story in reaction to their assessment. In the end, Salinger changed only two lines. Parts of “Franny” may date as early as 1951. When “De Daumier-Smith 's Blue Period” was rejected in November 1951, Salinger told Lobrano, “I may do that college story” instead.

 

33. “Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters” – Early 1955

“Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters” was first published in The New Yorker on November 19, 1955. Considering the story's length, Salinger most likely concentrated on this single story from January 1955, when he wrote to Judge Learned Hand that he had begun a new piece, and the novella's final acceptance by The New Yorker in July of that year.

 

34. “Zooey” – November 1955 – April 1957

The novella “Zooey” itself claims to take place in November 1955, and there is no reason to doubt that Salinger had the story well underway by the time “Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters” was published on November 19. On February 8 1956, William Maxwell wrote to Harold Ober expressing The New Yorker's desire to receive another story from Salinger. In near-identical letters to Jamie Hamilton and a “Miss Cardoza ,” both dated April 16 1956, Salinger claimed that “Zooey” was near completion. On November 8 1956, Salinger received payment for “Zooey” from William Shawn. However, according to The New Yorker , the first draft of “Zooey” had been unanimously rejected by the magazine's editorial staff before Shawn himself intervened and purchased the story (sending a check on November 8). From November 1956 until its final New Yorker publication on May 14, 1957, Shawn and Salinger worked constantly to perfect and condense “Zooey.” On November 20 1956 and again on January 2 1957, New Yorker editor Katherine White wrote to Salinger expressing her encouragement and sympathies over the agonizing process of revision. Interestingly, White's November 20 letter refers to the story as “Ivanoff the Terrible” rather than “Zooey.” Both letters mention a new novel being written by Salinger as the story's source. The authorship of “Zooey” can therefore be divided into three distinct periods: The writing of the first draft can roughly be dated from the publication of “Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters” in November 1955 to May 1956. The story then endured a period at The New Yorker , where its quality was debated until William Shawn forced its acceptance in November 1956. The story's third phase was that of revision and lasted from November 1956 until its publication in May of 1957.

 

35. “Seymour - An Introduction” – January 1958 – Spring 1959.

Salinger struggled with “ Seymour -An Introduction” for over a year until its release in The New Yorker on June 6 1959. As early as January 10 1958, he wrote to Judge Learned Hand that he was making steady progress on a new story and that he was satisfied with both the results and the pace of his work. However, in another letter to Hand dated October 27 1958, Salinger confessed not having finished the project. In March 1959, Salinger traveled to Atlantic City and then to New York attempting to complete the novella. While in New York, he fell ill and returned to Cornish where he finished writing “Seymour–An Introduction” by mid-spring

 

36. “Hapworth 16, 1924” – 1964

Salinger 's final story, the novella “Hapworth 16 1924,” was published in The New Yorker on June 19 1965. There is no indication as to when Salinger began to write the piece but in January 1965, The New Yorker began the process of setting aside an entire issue in which to feature the novella, indicating that Salinger had completed the story by the end of 1964.