A Young Holden Caulfield


Last month, three of J.D. Salinger’s unpublished stories were leaked. One of these stories, “The Ocean Full of Bowling Balls,” includes a young Holden Caulfield, and describes his brother’s death, “an incident only alluded to in the novel.”

In an essay featured by The Millions, Ian Rogers discusses the importance of respecting Salinger’s wishes to view “The Ocean Full of Bowling Balls” as an experiment rather than a prequel to The Catcher in the Rye.

Writers experiment with ideas when they’re writing novels. When these ideas don’t work, the writer throws them away. When they kind of work, the writer reshapes them into something that does.

Serena Candelaria is a Rumpus intern, and a self-proclaimed fiction addict. This summer, she worked at 29th Street Publishing and began writing a novella. She is currently a senior at Yale, where she studies Literature. More from this author →