The Works Of J.D. Salinger To Be Released In Digital Format

Actress Michelle Williams (book detail) arrives at the 2012 Film Independent Spirit Awards
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The works of author J.D. Salinger will finally be available on Tuesday in electronic format.

The Hollywood Reporter announced that Salinger’s longtime publisher, Little, Brown and Company, recently agreed to release the American author’s works as e-books. The Catcher and the Rye, Nine Stories, Franny And Zooey, Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour, An Introduction will all be available in an electronic format.

Matt Salinger, who oversees his father J.D.’s literary estate, said that the digital holdout ended because many readers use e-books exclusively and some people with disabilities, including dyslexia, can only use them.

“There were few things my father loved more than the full tactile experience of reading a printed book, but he may have loved his readers more — and not just the ‘ideal private reader’ he wrote about, but all his readers.”

The release of the electronic publications continues the yearlong centennial celebration of the author’s birth and his contributions to literature. J.D. Salinger died in 2010 after living for years as a recluse in Cornish, New Hampshire, so the release of the e-books, as well as new covers and a boxed set, are big changes for Salinger fans.

Matt Salinger added a new tease for fans of his father’s work. He stated that unpublished work by his late father will be coming out, but he said any publication of new works may be years away.

The New York Times revealed that Matt Salinger is a staunch keeper of his father’s legacy, but he has determined that in order to keep the work alive for a new generation, the delivery method should change with the times and enter the digital revolution.

But for the Salinger faithful, perhaps the biggest announcement is that with Matt’s help, the New York Public Library will host the first public exhibition from Salinger’s personal archives, which will feature “letters, family photographs and the typescript for The Catcher in the Rye with the author’s handwritten edits, along with about 160 other items.”

Salinger believes that combing through and making the unpublished works of his father public will take another five to seven years, but it has been a labor of love.

“It’s kept him very much alive for me. It’s been fascinating and joyful and moving and sad.”

J.D. Salinger had long said that “publishing is a terrible invasion of my privacy,” so his son admits that it’s odd releasing the works and paper.

“It’s weird, because I’ve spent my whole life protecting him and not talking about him,” Matt remarked.