The literary world was shocked this week by news of J.D. Salinger’s death. Author of the iconic coming of age tale Catcher in the Rye, Salinger died at his New Hampshire home, aged 91. The non-literary world was shocked that he was so old.
The beloved writer was also famous for decades of reclusiveness and for his refusal to have any works published for the last forty-five years. So mourning has mingled with excitement, amid speculation new Salinger works might soon be available in print.
All speculation ended today with a press release from Random House. The publishing giant announced negotiations are nearing completion with the Salinger estate for rights to Grocery Lists: 1960-1970.
Those few who have seen the source material speak enthusiastically about the project. Darthmouth’s Professor T.P. Evans, a noted Salinger scholar, said, “It’s really amazing, a rare insight into the workings of a transcendent intellect. The way he positions creamed corn between toilet paper and Jell-O suggests a sense of urban isolation in the post-modern world.”
Grocery Lists: 1960-1970 is scheduled to be the first in a planned series, providing readers a glimpse of how Salinger’s tastes evolved over time, according to Random House media spokesman Rob Graves.
The book will be sold initially through an exclusive marketing effort with Wal-Mart. The foreword will be written jointly by Joyce Carol Oates and Martha Stewart. Plans are in the talking stage for an Iron Chef episode in which the secret ingredients will be drawn from Grocery Lists: 1960-1970.