Posted on July 30, 2021 at 12:00 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

There’s only one known recording of reclusive author J.D. Salinger’s voice.

Almost no one has ever listened to said recording.

And its owner — the woman who made it — plans to have it burned with her when she dies.

Betty Eppes was a reporter for the Baton Rouge Advocate newspaper in 1980, but she told Salinger back then that she was a novelist who wasn’t planning on “usurping any of your privacy.”

However, she hid a recorder in her armpit and managed to record almost a half-hour of conversation with the Catcher in The Rye author; she played a snippet for her newspaper bosses and then locked it up in a safety-deposit box.

While the story of (and information from) the interview made it into major publications, Eppes says she feels terribly guilty for how she went about obtaining it — and that, she told Bloomberg after a recent conversation about the tape, is why she has now decided to have it cremated with her upon her eventual death.

(If you’ve maxed out your Bloomberg free articles, you can also check out Literary Hub’s post on the Salinger tape, which cites Bloomberg.)

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