Ex-Reporter With Only Known Recording of J.D. Salinger Plans to Be Cremated With It
A writer who owns the only known recording of author J.D. Salinger’s voice plans to hold onto it until death—and then burn it. Betty Eppes, a former reporter with the Baton Rouge Advocate, interviewed the reclusive author of The Catcher in the Rye for 27 minutes in 1980, though while she promised him privacy, she never told the writer she was recording the conversation. After publishing the written interview in the Paris Review, Eppes placed the recording in a safety deposit box, never removing it. She told Bloomberg she has received multiple lucrative offers for the recording—including one for $500,000—but she said she never sold it due to guilt over how she obtained it. “Sometimes, I wake up in the middle of the night and I think, ‘I stole that. I stole his voice,’” she said. “You know that’s like stealing somebody’s soul, right? That tape is not mine to give or sell.” Instead, Eppes, now 80, modified her will to indicate the tape will be cremated with her body.