Catcher author wins ban on sequel

By Jessica Elgot, July 3, 2009
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The reclusive Jewish author J D Salinger has won a battle to stop a sequel to his novel The Catcher in the Rye from being published.

The author of the sequel, Swedish writer Frederick Colting, has said the ruling is tantamount to censorship.

The sequel, 60 Years Later: Coming through the Rye, written under the pen name John David California, has already gone on sale in the UK.

The book features the hero of the novel, Holden Caulfield, escaping from an residential home when aged 76 and includes numerous other characters in the book.

In her ruling in New York, District Judge Deborah Batts said: “There is a substantial similarity between Catcher and 60 Years, such that it was an unauthorised infringement of copyright.”

She drew similarities between the novel’s characters and their behaviour and reoccurring motifs in both novels which she said used “precisely the same or only slightly modified language.”

Salinger’s 1951 novel is taught in almost all American schools and has sold around 35 million copies, but its author, aged 90, is currently living as a recluse and has not published a book since 1965, fiercely withholding the rights to Catcher for film and TV adaptations, including one from Steven Spielberg.

Colting, 33, denies he copied Salinger’s work, claiming he had only read the novel twice.

Last updated: 4:13pm, July 16 2009