Independent publisher Devault-Graves says that Salinger's Three Early Stories is "the first legitimately published book by JD Salinger in some 50 years". The late author of The Catcher in the Rye, notoriously protective of his privacy, published nothing after the release of his story Hapworth 16, 1924 in the New Yorker, in 1965. In 1974, he told the New York Times that the release of two volumes of his uncollected short stories was "an illicit act. It's unfair. Suppose you had a coat you liked and somebody went into your closet and stole it. That's how I feel."
But, after learning of the existence of 21 stories written before the publication of Catcher in 1951 in the 2013 documentary about Salinger, publishers Tom Graves and Darrin Devault began to research rights in the stories.
They found that three - The Young Folks, Go See Eddie and Once a Week Won't Kill You - had never been registered to the author, they told Publishers Weekly. "We knew we had a shot at obtaining the rights," said Graves, "and the game began."