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JD Salinger dies, what of his legacy?

After shunning the public eye with self-imposed exile to a tiny town in New Hampshire since 1952 and fiercely protecting the legacy of his works, the death of JD Salinger this week has many betting on what will be the first unauthorized — or the unlikely scenario of authorized — book, film or stage work that will attempt to recapture the magic of “The Catcher in the Rye” or the mystery of the author’s life.

His last published work, a novella entitled “Hapworth 16, 1924” – one of several of his ‘Glass family’ stories — appeared in the New Yorker in 1965. But since then, nothing.

But by telling a newspaper in 1980 that “I love to write, and I assure you I write regularly” and throwing out hints in other rare interviews of works, as well as friends and family referring to a safe full of more than a dozen completed manuscripts, Salinger fans have long salivated over possible further works.

During his lifetime it was clear Salinger, who grew up in Manhattan the son of a Scotch-Irish mother and Polish-Jewish father, did not approve of unauthorized biographies of him, the search for him, his further writings or any other alleged rip-offs of “Catcher.”

The Strokes top NME album of decade poll

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strokes2New York band The Strokes’ 2001 debut “Is This It” topped music magazine NME’s album of the decade poll, beating British rockers The Libertines’ first album “Up The Bracket” into second. The result was decided by a panel of musicians, producers, writers and record label bosses. Here is a rundown of NME’s Top 20 from the “Noughties”:

1. The Strokes – ‘Is This It’; 2. The Libertines – ‘Up The Bracket’; 3. Primal Scream – ‘Xtrmntr’; 4. Arctic Monkeys – ‘Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not’; 5. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – ‘Fever To Tell’; 6. PJ Harvey – ‘Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea’; 7. Arcade Fire – ‘Funeral’; 8. Interpol – ‘Turn On The Bright Lights’; 9. The Streets – ‘Original Pirate Material’; 10. Radiohead – ‘In Rainbows’

Oz on yellow brick road to Nobel glory?

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dorisIt’s that time of year again. Although we don’t yet know the exact date of the announcement, in the next few weeks the Swedish Academy will decide on the 2009 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, probably the writing world’s biggest award.

The bookies are already out of the blocks, and it is Israeli writer and professor Amos Oz, regularly considered a favourite in recent years, who is tipped for glory this time around. Ladbrokes in Britain make him the 4/1 frontrunner, ahead of Algeria’s Assia Djebar (5/1), Spain’s Luis Goytisolo (6/1), America’s Joyce Carol Oates and her compatriot (and perennial Nobel Prize also-ran) Philip Roth, both on 7/1.amos

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