Penguin Books UK is publishing all four of J D Salinger’s works as e-books for the first time, as part of celebrations marking the centenary of his birth.
The Catcher in the Rye, Franny and Zooey, For Esmé – With Love And Squalor and Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters, and Seymour—An Introduction will be published digitally on 13th August, with Little, Brown releasing the e-books in the US.
Matt Salinger, the author’s son and co-trustee of the J D Salinger Literary Trust, said the release was in keeping with his father’s hope to make books accessible. He said he had been particularly inspired by a letter from a woman with a right hand disability who described her Kindle as a “godsend” [pictured below].
He explained: “My father always did what he could to keep his books affordable and accessible to as many readers as possible, especially students, and he consistently refused to give up the cheaper paperback editions for more profitable trade paperbacks, even when Hemingway and Fitzgerald and Faulkner had done so, and when Little Brown was urging him to.
“This was all about accessibility, so making his books accessible to a new generation, many of whom seem to prefer reading on their electronic devices, and - specifically - people with health conditions or impairments that mean they’re unable to read physical books, is a very exciting development, and totally in keeping with his wishes even if he greatly preferred the full tactile experience of a physical book. Would he prefer and encourage readers to stick with the printed books? Absolutely. But not exclusively if it means some not being able to read him at all.”
Simon Prosser, publishing director at Hamish Hamilton, added: “I am delighted that all four of J D Salinger’s exceptional and much-loved books will now be available in e-book format for the first time, as part of our year-long celebration of the centenary of his birth. This follows the reissue of all four of his books first in collectors’ hardback editions and then, this summer, in freshly-designed paperback editions. May the celebrations continue!”