Three Stories (found unpublished J. D. Salinger short stories; 1942-1946)

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Front cover of the eBay copy.

Status: Found

Date found: Sept 2013

Found by: Unknown

J. D. Salinger's Three Stories is a collection of three unpublished short works written between 1942 and 1946.

The first story (The Ocean Full of Bowling Balls) was originally written for Harper's Bazaar, though Salinger ultimately withdrew the submission before publication. The plot centers around the precursors to characters from his acclaimed 1951 novel, The Catcher in the Rye. A copy was donated to Princeton University, with the understanding and agreement that the story was not to be published until 50 years after his death (January 27th, 2060, the earliest possible date). It is currently available for strict viewing (two forms of ID required) at Princeton University, during which time the reader must be accompanied by security guards.

The latter stories (Birthday Boy and Paula), while not necessarily under any clause to remain unpublished, remained unseen and long-sought-after.

In mid-September of 2013, an unauthorized collection of all three works, published under the name Three Stories was listed on eBay. The book, which was apparently printed in 1999 in a very limited run (the auctioned copy being number 6 of only 25) sold for a measly 67.50 pounds.[1]

In late November, the entire book was leaked (in .pdf form) anonymously, by the apparent buyer. Salinger scholar Kenneth Slawenski authenticated the leak, matching his own private copies. Said .pdf is now widely available via filesharing websites.

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