Three unpublished stories by the legendary reclusive J.D. Salinger have been leaked online, seemingly from the eBay auction of a rare and unauthorized volume called Three Stories.
The stories have previously been available only for viewing in research libraries. Salinger scholar Kenneth Slawenski told BuzzFeed that the three stories seem to be genuine: "While I do quibble with the ethics (or lack of ethics) in posting the Salinger stories, they look to be true transcripts of the originals and match my own copies."
One of the stories, "An Ocean Full of Bowling Balls," is a companion story to The Catcher in the Rye, and is available for supervised viewing in the Princeton University library. A Princeton spokesperson told The Guardian, "The story is probably an unauthorised version transcribed longhand in our reading room." The other two stories, "Paula" and "Birthday Boy," are at the University of Texas.
Salinger was fiercely private, and likely would have been upset by the leak. Per the terms of his donations of the manuscripts, Salinger made it very clear that they were not to be published until 50 years after his death; thus, the earliest they could be published is January 27, 2060. When a group of fans tried to put together an unauthorized collection of some of these stories in the 1970s, Salinger toldThe New York Times, "I wanted [the stories] to die a perfectly natural death. I'm not trying to hide the gaucheries of my youth. I just don't think they're worthy of publishing." He added, "I just want all this to stop."