Three stories by the notoriously reclusive author J.D. Salinger were leaked online Wednesday.
They were being auctioned as a book on eBay, but an anonymous Reddit contributor noticed that the seller had included a PDF scan of it in the description. According to the seller, the “book” was published in a limited run in 1999, and was the sixth of 25 numbered copies.
The winning bid for the book was $107.
The first story in the collection, “The Ocean Full of Bowling Balls,” was previously only available to credentialed scholars at the Princeton Library. According to one such scholar familiar with the story, Kenneth Slawenski, the material in the PDF is a genuine transcript of the original.
“The Ocean Full of Bowling Balls” marked the first appearance of “Holden Caulfield,” the protagonist of Catcher in the Rye. The other two stories are “Birthday Boy” and “Paula.”
Salinger, who died in 2010, had directed his family and his agent not to publish any of his post-Catcher in the Rye work, but in a recent documentary, Salinger, it was revealed that five novels would posthumously published between 2015 and 2020.
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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