The works of The Catcher in the Rye author JD Salinger are finally being published in ebook format, nearly 10 years after his death.
Salinger’s work has remained offline because the writer hated computers and technology, his son Matt told the New York Times.
But he said he now wanted his father’s work to be more accessible.
Matt Salinger said a letter from a disabled fan, who found it difficult to read print, changed his mind.
“Ebooks and audiobooks are tough… he clearly didn’t want them,” said Matt, who helps run the JD Salinger Literary Trust.
He explained that he had resisted requests to issue e-books for years because of his father’s aversion to the internet, recalling how an attempt to explain Facebook to his father left him “horrified”.
But it was after Matt was contacted by a disabled Salinger fan that he began to have a rethink. She told him she found it difficult to read printed books.
“She took me personally to task in a very sharp but humorous way, and from the moment I read her letter I was committed to figuring out a way to let her read my father’s books, as she so wanted,” Matt said.
Salinger’s four published novels will all be available as ebooks – The Catcher in the Rye, Nine Stories, Franny and Zooey, and Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction.
Matt added that the choice to bring out ebooks was also ironically driven by his father himself because, above all, he had wanted to reach as many different readers as possible.
“My father always did what he could to keep his books affordable and accessible to as many readers as possible, especially students,” said Matt.
Salinger’s work will also be coming to the New York Public Library, one of the city’s major tourist attractions. The library is to hold the first public exhibition of items from the writer’s personal archive this autumn.
They will include letters, family photographs and the typescript for The Catcher in the Rye with the author’s handwritten edits, as well as around 160 other items.
Matt Salinger and his father’s publisher did not say if any of his work would be released as audiobooks.
Although Salinger, who died in 2010 aged 91, published a relatively small number of novels, his son said he actually left behind many more that had never been seen.
The hope, he told the Guardian earlier this year, was also to bring these books to his fans by publishing them slowly over the next 10 years.
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