A decade ago, I remember the excitement around the impending publication of Hapworth, 16, 1924, a lost Glass-family novella that had been published in The New Yorker but never released as a book. The publisher was Orchises Press, a boutique outfit that had scrappily approached Salinger and obtained the author’s permission. This created some anxiety for avid readers as it would not be a large release and there would not be stacks of the new Salinger at the front tables of big box booksellers, or even at The Strand, where they could be easily obtained. I pre-ordered, I think, from Amazon and Powells and Tattered Cover.
Well, the book never happened. Our friend at Electric Literature report today that Salinger had wanted a limited, small press release which was thwarted by the concurrent ages of celebrity and Amazon.
In the meantime, those of us who cared were able to read the story in The New Yorker‘s digital archive. Nothing is truly lost anymore, except for the chance to own a beautifully designed and published physical Hapworth.
Meanwhile, reminds Electric Literature, we’ve been promised far more than this novella since Salinger’s death. Salinger’s later life biographers and contemporaries all say he continued to write long after he stopped publishing and went into seclusion.
J.D.’s son Matthew confirms a trove of unpublished materials, but not some of the specific novels that others have promised. He says we’ll get to see it, but he’s not promising anything soon.