Penguin has Salinger backlist relaunch planned for June

<p>Penguin imprint Hamish Hamilton will be relaunching JD Salinger&#39;s backlist in June with new covers approved by Salinger himself. The rejacketing was planned before the reclusive author died on Wednesday at his home at the age of 91.<br /><br />Simon Prosser, publishing director of Hamish Hamilton &amp; Penguin, said that the publisher was &quot;mourning deeply the loss of one of our very favourite authors - and one of the greatest writers of the last century.&quot; Prosser added that although no one in the office had ever met him, &quot;his presence was very strongly felt&quot;.<br /><br />Hamish Hamilton has been plotting a relaunch of its Salinger list for several months and the jackets had already been approved by the author. <br /><br />Prosser added: &quot;I am certain that JD Salinger&#39;s passing will be keenly felt by many. <em>The Catcher in the Rye</em> must surely be close to the top of the list of favourite books of millions of readers -- as it is of ours; and his other works will not be far behind -- and for some, of course, ahead. He was the bestselling Hamish Hamilton author ever and we owe him an enormous debt.&quot;<br /><br />Salinger&#39;s 2009 sales were &pound;380,327 on 55,962 copies from Nielsen BookScan&#39;s Total Consumer Market. Since records began in 2001 sales for Salinger are &pound;4.5m on just over 668,000 copies.<br /><br />Pomona Press has also bought the publication date of its biography on Salinger forward after his death. <em>JD Salinger: A Life Raised High&nbsp;</em>by Kenneth Slawenski will now be published on 15th March.<br /><br />Pomona&#39;s owner Mark Hodkinson said: &quot;It is a&nbsp;coincidence that we are publishing the book so close to Salinger&#39;s death. The book was scheduled to be published in May but we have brought it forward a few weeks and the author is adding a new chapter.&quot; Hodkinson added: &quot;It is a comprehensive and brave piece of work and Slawenski&#39;s love of Salinger&#39;s writing sings out on every page.&quot;</p><p>Little has previously been known about Salinger but Slawenski has conducted more than 60 interviews and trawled libraries for letters, birth certificates, marriage licences and work records to provide a &quot;detailed but highly readable account&quot; of the author.</p><p>Announcing his death yesterday (28th January) his literary agent Harold Ober Associates asked for the privacy closely guarded by the author to be extended to his family &quot;collectively, during this time&quot;. </p>