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Previously unreleased J.D. Salinger stories circulating online

Posted by Jack Pickell  November 29, 2013 12:04 PM

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Good news for fans of J.D. Salinger: three previously unreleased short stories by the reclusive author who passed away in 2010 have begun circulating online for the first time after an illegally printed collection was auctioned off on eBay.

Buzzfeed's Summer Anne Burton broke the story on Wednesday.

The three works, "Paula," "Birthday Boy," and "The Ocean Full of Bowling Balls," were previously available to researchers at the libraries at Princeton and the University of Texas, but the general public had never seen them until they uploaded to file-sharing sites Imgur and MediaFire this week.


Los Angeles Times book critic David L. Ulin and Salinger biographer Kenneth Slawenski have both confirmed the authenticity of the stories.

"I've never read "The Ocean Full of Bowling Balls": It's part of a collection of Salinger material at the Princeton University library and available only to scholars who are supervised as they read," Ulin told the Los Angeles Times. "I have read the other two stories, however, at the University of Texas' Ransom Center, and the versions of them in 'Three Stories' are the real deal."

"The Ocean Full of Bowling Balls" has long been of interest, since it features Kenneth Caulfield (later changed into Allie Caulfield in "Catcher"), the younger brother of Holden Caulfield from "The Catcher in the Rye." The story can be viewed as an unofficial prequel to Salinger's most famous work, as it details the last day in the life of Holden's younger sibling.

What do you think of the discovery? Will you try to read the stories?

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