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J.D. Salinger’s “Hapworth 16, 1924” Republication Conundrum: That “Shields-Salerno” Cryptorchism Speculation



Announced as of 1996 was the obscure Orchises Press’s impending republication in book-form of the 1965 novella “Hapworth 16, 1924”. That novella’s progenitor was America’s reclusive yet renowned novelist and short story-author Jerome David Salinger (1919-2010). Debate erupted immediately concerning Salinger’s impulse to republish. His aims, and Salinger’s subsequent withdrawal from his republication project, plus the selection of so improbable an outlet, all have seemed baffling. The original “Hapworth” publication remained his final item published during Salinger’s lifetime. His 2013 biography by David Shields and Shane Salerno disclosed Salinger’s birth with an undescended testicle. This, they opine, poisoned his life psychologically. Fresh reviews of the republication misadventure in light of this Shields-Salerno congenital physiology-assertion tends toward a contingent vindication of their psychological speculation.


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