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Culture

New JD Salinger biography and film in the works

© AFP Graphic

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-01-30

A new film and biography on “The Catcher in the Rye” author J.D. Salinger will be released within the year, publishers Simon & Schuster announced on Tuesday, billed as an “unprecedented look into the mysterious life” of the writer.

A new J.D. Salinger film and biography are being billed as an unprecedented look into the mysterious life of the author of “The Catcher In the Rye.”

Simon & Schuster announced Tuesday that it had acquired “The Private War of J.D. Salinger,” an oral biography compiled by author David Shields and filmmaker-screenwriter Shane Salerno, whose screenplay credits include the Oliver Stone film “Savages.” Salinger’s own books have been published by Little, Brown and Co.

  • New Year's Day, 1918 Jerome David Salinger is born in Manhattan, New York.
  • 1940 Salinger's debut story, "The Young Ones" is published by "Story" magazine.
  • 1942 Salinger is drafted to fight in World War II.
  • 1951 "The Catcher in the Rye" is published.
  • 1953 Salinger moves to Cornish, New Hampshire, where he begins to slink away from the public eye.
  • 1955 Salinger marries Claire Douglas, with whom he has two children.
  • 1997 Salinger's last published work, "Hapsworth 16: 1924", is announced to be released in book form, but the release date is endlessly pushed back.
  • January 28, 2010 Salinger dies at his home in New Hampshire at the age of 91.

Salerno has been working for several years on his documentary, which PBS will air next January for the 200th of its “American Masters” series. According to Simon & Schuster, the book and film draw upon interviews “with over 150 sources who either worked directly with author J.D. Salinger, had a personal relationship with him, or were influenced by his work.”

Salinger’s longtime literary agent, Phyllis Westberg of Harold Ober Associates Inc., declined to comment Tuesday.

Simon & Schuster’s announcement does not say whether the ultimate Salinger question is answered: Did he leave behind any unpublished manuscripts? Simon & Schuster publisher Jonathan Karp said he could not provide detail beyond what is in the news release.

Virtually nothing new has been learned about the U.S. author since he died in 2010 at age 91. No authorized biography has appeared.

“The myth that people have read about and believed for 60 years about J.D. Salinger is one of someone too pure to publish, too sensitive to be touched. We replace the myth of Salinger with an extraordinarily complex, deeply contradictory human being,” Salerno said in a statement. “Our book offers a complete revaluation and reinterpretation of the work and the life.”

“Both the film and book are an investigation into the cost of art and the cost of war,” Simon & Schuster senior editor Jofie Ferrari-Adler said in a statement. “This is a truly revelatory work, and one that transcends literary biography to investigate the larger story of the legacy of World War II. Through the prism of Salinger’s life and his experience at war, the authors are presenting a personal history of the 20th century.”

Salinger was reportedly deeply scarred by his service during World War II, when he interrogated prisoners of war.

(AP)

Date created : 2013-01-30

  • OBITUARY

    J.D. Salinger, author of 'Catcher in the Rye', dies aged 91

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