The Shmooze

'Catcher in the Rye' Sequel Banned in U.S.

By Michael Kaminer

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A phony.

That’s what the estate of J.D. Salinger is calling Frederik Colting, the Swedish novelist who’s created a sequel to Salinger’s beloved 1951 magnum opus, “Catcher in the Rye.” The BBC reports that Colting’s “60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye,” which depicts “Catcher” protagonist Holden Caulfield as a haunted septuagenarian, has been banned from release in the U.S. and Canada at the estate’s behest.

Colting reached a settlement with Salinger’s estate to end a lengthy copyright dispute over the book, according to the BBC and trade publication Publishers Weekly. As part of the deal, the book cannot be published stateside, though it can be sold in other countries. Colting must also stop using his own title for the book.

Legal maneuvers by from the famously prickly Salinger estate also mean that Mr. Colting is unable to refer to the character or its original author by name,” reports the UK Telegraph. A lawyer for Salinger’s estate described Colting’s book in court as “a rip-off, pure and simple”. Colting’s lawyers claimed it was a parody. Colting’s novel sees 76-year-old “Mr C” escape from a retirement home and head to New York, according to the BBC. On its website, its UK publisher Windupbird describes Colting’s book as a “speculative psychological mystery”.

Catcher in the Rye has sold 35 million copies, according to the CBC. As the JTA reported in an obit last year, “the author was born in New York in 1919 to an assimilated Jewish father and a non-Jewish mother of Irish descent. Salinger’s father, Sol, was the son of a rabbi. He worked as an importer of ham and tried to get his son into the business, according to The New York Times, but the younger Salinger instead became a writer.”


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