This week Newsweek unveiled a never-before-seen photo of the famous J.D. Salinger. The photo was provided by Hollywood director, Shane Salerno. According to the article, Salerno is teaming up with David Shields to co-write an 800-page biography titled, The Private War of J. D. Salinger.
In addition, Salerno has funded, written, and directed a two-hour documentary titled Salinger, due out on September 24th 2010. Famous names involved with the film project include journalist/author Tom Wolfe, biographer A. Scott Berg, and Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Salinger, who passed away in January of this year, was known for his highly reclusive nature. From ages 46-91, he was largely out of the limelight despite the overwhelming public desire for him to do just the opposite. Catherine Crawford’s 2006 title, If You Really Want to Hear About It: Writers on J. D. Salinger and His Work states that, “[readers] of his work and students from nearby Dartmouth College often came to Cornish in groups, hoping to catch a glimpse of him.” Such a personality invites incredible mystery, especially when you are the mastermind behind a hit like The Catcher in the Rye.
To further tease Salinger enthusiasts, Newsweek offers this quote about the filmmaker: “[Salerno] has spent six years and millions of dollars researching the author’s mysterious world –though the details, such as the story behind this photo, he won’t divulge just yet. Like Franny Glass, who clung to her copy of The Way of a Pilgrim as a kind of dog-eared talisman, Salerno has a spiritual relationship with Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye. He also has rules. ‘Do not read J. D. Salinger on a Kindle,’ he says, with a snort of disgust. ‘Grab that broken paperback.'”