Three unpublished stories by the late reclusive author J.D. Salinger were leaked online this week, sending the literary world into a frenzy. Apparently Thanksgiving got a little bit busier as people scrambled to get their hands on a copy of the manuscript and verify whether the stories were indeed penned by Salinger.
The story of the manuscript leak was first reported on Reddit. The manuscript, which is titled Three Stories, includes the following stories: The Ocean Full of Bowling Balls, Paula, and Birthday Boy. The first of the stories is the one that has people talking the most because it appears to be a prequel to Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye.
According to Buzzfeed, the source of the leak was an eBay auction that sold a copy of an unauthorized copy of the manuscript containing the three Salinger stories. The copy sold for $110 back in September, and the stories began popping up around the Internet yesterday. The manuscript is available on Imgur and Mediafire.
Now, for the big question--are the stories legit? According to J.D. Salinger scholar Kenneth Slawenski the answer is "yes." Slawenski, the author of J.D. Salinger: A Life told Buzzfeed that the stories are real based on his prior reading of the manuscripts, which aren't (or weren't) available to the general public. "While I do quibble with the ethics (or lack of ethics) in posting the Salinger stories, they look to be true transcripts of the originals and match my own copies,” Slawenski said.
David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic, has also verified that two of the stories are real: "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. 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."
Now that the stories have been verified, this will give J.D. Salinger fans a taste of what is to come in a couple of years. Salinger's estate plans to publish five books starting from 2015 through 2020. The books reportedly include a collection of short stories that contain recurring character Seymour Glass as well as a short story that follows up on Holden Caulfield.
As you can see from the Twitter posts below, some people are really freaking out over the J.D. Salinger stories being leaked:
Unpublished Stories of J.D. Salinger. http://t.co/HlC1KOcOwo ERRRMMMMAAAAGAAAAWWWWDDDDD! i'm going to cry.
— lula mae barnes (@skinnymarie) November 29, 2013
OMG THE SALINGER STORIES WERE LEAKED
— Allison Simone (@AllisonSimone) November 29, 2013
[Image via Imgur]
JD Salinger's leaked stories. Omg. 2013 just got hella better :))))
— Joannah (@JowSparrow) November 29, 2013