Unpublished Salinger biography heads to NY auction


Ian Hamilton's "J.D. Salinger: A Writing Life" is being offered at Swann Auction Galleries on Nov. 21.

It is being sold by a private American collector and has a pre-sale estimate of $4,000 to $6,000.

Salinger, who died in 2010, successfully blocked release of Hamilton's book in 1987, citing the use of previously unpublished letters.

A spokeswoman for Salinger's estate did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

The bound, uncorrected proof was one of about 100 that were printed as review copies, said John Larson, Swann's 19th - and 20th - century literature specialist. The author's name is misspelled on the title page as "Hamiton."

Larson said none has ever come up at auction.

"This is definitely a wild card. There may be extreme interest because it's the first," he said.

Larson said the timing was good, citing a new biography and recent documentary about the reclusive novelist.

Hamilton described his legal battle over the book in "Searching for J.D. Salinger," published in 1988.

Hamilton died in 2001.

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