The inside scoop on the book world |


The inside scoop on the book world

Stephen King, J.D. Salinger, and Joyce Maynard made news this week

Good for what ails him
Stephen King isn’t lacking for well-wishers as he recovers from his recent accident. Listeners of New York City radio station Q104 have been requesting the horror-meister’s warbly version of ”Stand By Me” (which appeared on the just-out CD Stranger Than Fiction). And Borders has instructed its shops nationwide to set up areas where fans can write King get-well notes. ”I’ve left it up to each of our stores to create whatever kind of ‘Stephen Shrine’ that they want to carry this out,” says national event specialist Jenie Carlen.

Hiding in plain sigh
The world’s most famous recluse just can’t stay out of the news: First, the 14 letters J.D. Salinger wrote to his then-18-year-old sweetheart Joyce Maynard in the early 1970s sold at Sotheby’s for $156,000. Then Salinger’s daughter Margaret sold The Dream Catcher, a memoir of life with her father, to Pocket Books for a reported $250,000. (The book had been at Riverhead, a division of Putnam, until author and publisher parted ways over ”editorial differences,” according to an industry insider.) Meanwhile, Paul Alexander’s Salinger, a just-out biography of the author, claims that Salinger was attracted to young women, and that Maynard was the fourth teenage girl he romanced. Alexander adds that according to his sources, Maynard may have possessed as many as 25 to 30 letters from Salinger, not just the 14 she sold. Maynard denies it. ”There are no more,” she says. ”He sent a letter to my mother, which I can’t find, but all the letters to me have been sold.” And did she keep copies? ”I’ll leave it to your imagination,” Maynard responds.