J.D. Salinger’s legend not only lives on, but is thriving. It was announced last week that at least five “posthumous releases” by the reclusive literary legend will likely see the light of print between 2015 and 2020. That’s one of the reveals in the biography “Salinger” by David Shields and Shane Salerno, to be released Tuesday (Simon & Schuster, $37.50, 720 pages). Solerno’s documentary movie “Salinger” is scheduled to open Friday.
Not coincidentally, Tuesday will also see the re-release of “At Home In the World” by Joyce Maynard (Picador, $16, 375 pages). The coming-of-age memoir was hugely controversial when it first appeared in 1998, because Maynard finally and frankly discussed her intimate relationship with Salinger.
They met after Salinger sent her a letter concerning a first-person piece Maynard had written for The New York Times in her freshman year at Yale. At the time, he was 53, she was 18.
In a new preface to the new edition of “World,” Maynard writes, “I had loved him once … had worshiped him. The relationship lasted just 11 months and ended when I was 19. … But absent as Salinger has been all my adult life, he has remained an almost daily presence in it. This is not a fact of my choosing. … To the girl I was then, Jerry Salinger remained the wisest and best person I’d ever know, or ever would.”
Salinger, who died at age 91 in 2010, was best known for the coming-of-age novel “The Catcher in the Rye,” one of the best-loved and most-read – and most-banned – books in the world.
More from Leonard?
Elmore Leonard, author of 45 novels, was 87 when he died of a stroke Aug. 20, news that shook the publishing industry and made international headlines. But we may not have read the last word from the crime novelist-screenwriter (“Get Shorty,” “Road Dogs”).
At the time of his death, Leonard was working on his 46th book, “Blue Dreams,” featuring one of his most popular characters, Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens. The Stetson-wearing lawman is played by Timothy Olyphant in the FX network’s popular series “Justified,” which has its genesis in the novels “Pronto” and “Riding the Rap,” and the short story “Fire in the Hole.”
Now one of Leonard’s sons, crime novelist Peter Leonard, says he has tentative plans to finish “Blue Dreams.”
“It’s been discussed among family members, and I've talked to Elmore’s longtime researcher,” he told BBC Radio 4. It’s not known how much of the manuscript Elmore Leonard had written, nor when Peter Leonard might finish and publish it.
Reading Central favorites
A ton of titles are stacked up here at Reading Central, and publishers will soon be sending more as the fall book season is set to begin. Let’s move some along:
• “A Conspiracy of Faith” by Jussi Adler-Olsen (Dutton, $26.95, 512 pages): Book three in the excellent “Department Q” Nordic thriller series finds police detective Carl Morck and his two amateur assistants coping with another cold case. This time out, a blood-stained message in a bottle leads to horrifying revelations. Pick up the first two entries, “The Keeper of Lost Causes” and “The Absent One.” Great stuff.
• “Nemesis” by Bill Pronzini (Forge, $25.99, 320 pages): The “Nameless Detective” series continues, with Nameless trying to clear one of his operatives from a bogus charge, and salvage the good name of his detective agency – all while working from home. Pronzini and his novelist wife, Marcia Muller (the Sharon McCone series), appeared for the Bee Book Club in 2009.
• “Night Film” by Marisha Pessl (Random House, $28, 624 pages): A journalist investigating a woman’s murder ends up investigating her father, a cult-horror movie director whose last public appearance was three decades earlier. This one’s creepy in the best sense of the word. Pessl’s debut mystery, “Special Topics in Calamity Physics,” was a best-seller.
• “Crazy Rich: Power, Scandal and Tragedy Inside the Johnson & Johnson Dynasty” by Jerry Oppenheimer (St. Martin’s, $27.99, 496 pages): The veteran biographer takes readers behind the closed doors that continue to shield the Johnson & Johnson family from prying eyes.
• “Junipero Serra” by Steven W. Hackel (HIll & Wang, $27, 352 pages): The Franciscan priest and “founding father” of California has been both vilified and lauded for his “conversion” of California Indians to Catholicism. This biography focuses more on the man’s place in history rather than his religious calling.
• “Six Women of Salem” by Marilynne K. Roach (Da Capo, $18.99, 472 pages): The out-of-control frenzy of the witch trials in colonial Massachusetts in the late 1690s is put into perspective through the stories of a half-dozen of its victims.
Your BookPage “Top 10 Books of the Summer”
BookPage, the guide to “the best new books published every month,” recently compiled “Your Top 10 Books of the Summer,” based on “the number of page views” at its online magazine, www.bookpage.com.
1. “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” by Neil Gaiman
2. “The Engagements” by J. Courtney Sullivan
3. “The Husband’s Secret” by Liane Moriarty
4. “The Yonahlossee Riding Camp For Girls” by Anton DiSclafani
5. “We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves” by Karen Joy Fowler (who has appeared for the Bee Book Club)
6. “The Light in the Ruins” by Chris Bohjalian
7. “& Sons” by David Gilbert
8. “Amy Falls Down” by Jincy Willett
9. “The Astronaut Wives Club” by Lily Koppel
10. “Visitation Street” by by Ivy Pochoda
Upcoming author appearances
Sept. 9: Karen Sandler for “Clean Burn,” at four Barnes & Noble locations: 9 a.m. at 6111 Sunrise Blvd, Citrus Heights; 10:15 a.m. at 1725 Arden Way, Sacramento; 11:15 a.m. at 3561 N. Freeway Blvd., Sacramento; and 12:30 p.m. at 1256 Galleria Blvd., Roseville.
Sept. 12: William Burg for “Sacramento Renaissance: Art, Music and Activism in California's Capital City,” 7 p.m. at Time Tested Books, 1114 21st St., Sacramento; (916) 447-5696.
Sept. 21: El Dorado Hills-based novelist (“The Eye of God”) James Rollins will be the guest speaker at the California Writers Club luncheon, to discuss the theme “Put the Thrill in Your Thriller,” answer writing-related questions and talk about his life as a writer. Lunch with Rollins starts at 11 a.m. at Cattlemen’s restaurant, 12409 Folsom Blvd., Rancho Cordova; $14 at the door. Information: (916) 933-9607.
Sept. 28: Katie Hafner for “Mother, Daughter, Me,” 7:30 p.m. at Avid Reader, 617 Second St., Davis; (530) 758-4040.
Call The Bee’s Allen Pierleoni, (916) 321-1128. Follow him on Twitter @apierleonisacbe