Kenneth Slawenski, founder of the website Dead Caufields, has signed a deal with Random House to publish Salinger: A Life in the United States. The book will come out on January 25, 2011—two days before the one-year anniversary of J.D. Salinger's death.
The biography was published in the United Kingdom in March and The Telegraph called it "a first-rate book." According to a press release from Random House, Salinger will give us "a tremendous amount of new information" on the mysterious author's life:
His wartime romance; the inspiration behind The Catcher in the Rye; the impact of his experience fighting in the D-Day landings; the true story behind Franny and Zooey; full details on his romance with Oona O’Neill (later Mrs. Charlie Chaplin); his office intrigues with famous New Yorker editors and writers; his friendship with Ernest Hemingway; surprising evidence that he intended to continue publishing after his last story appeared in l965, and much more.
It's hard to resist a bio of one of the most famously reclusive authors of my lifetime, although we can bet that Salinger would have preferred his life kept private (he unsuccessfully tried to prevent Ian Hamilton's biography from being published in the 1980s) . . . will you read the book anyway?
Random House executive editor Susanna Porter calls it "the most definitive Salinger biography yet published."