Law: Return To Sender

Salinger throws a writer's block

J.D. Salinger may not talk much to reporters, but the author of The Catcher in the Rye does talk to his lawyers. Last year he directed them to halt publication by Random House of an unauthorized biography by Ian Hamilton. The reclusive Salinger objected to the book's use of excerpts and summaries from scores of private letters he had written. Last week (a busy one for literary law watchers after the Bell Jar settlement) a Manhattan federal appeals court ordered a preliminary injunction blocking the book "in its present form."

Salinger, 68, had refused from the first to cooperate with Hamilton,...