Page last updated at 10:47 GMT, Tuesday, 2 June 2009 11:47 UK

Salinger sues over Rye 'sequel'

JD Salinger in 1951
JD Salinger has not published a book in decades

Author JD Salinger is taking legal action to block the publication of a book billed as a follow-up to his classic novel The Catcher in the Rye.

According to legal papers filed in New York, the 90-year-old's lawyers called the book a "rip-off pure and simple".

60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye features someone similar to Holden Caulfield from Salinger's work, which he says only he is able to use.

The reclusive author has previously refused filming rights for his story.


He has taken legal action to protect his copyright on previous occasions, but has never appeared in court.

The writer of the sequel uses the name John David California, but refused to give his real name when contacted by the Associated Press news agency.

The man, who lives in Sweden, called the legal action "a little bit insane", and added: "To me, this is a story about an old man. It's a love story, a story about an author and his character."

"I did not mean to cause him any trouble," he added in reference to Salinger, who is also pursuing undisclosed damages.

Along with California, London-based publisher Windupbird is cited in court documents, along with Swedish publisher Nicotext and California-based SCB Distributors.

The novel, which is dedicated to Salinger, is due to be published in the UK later this summer and in the US later in the year.

The Catcher in the Rye, first published in 1951, is a tale of adolescent alienation and has become one of the most influential American novels of the modern era.

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