Mrs. Hincher

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Mrs. Hincher is an unpublished short story by J.D. Salinger.[1]


The story centers on a married couple, Frank and Paula Hincher, who are struggling to have a child. Mrs. Hincher convinces herself she is pregnant, and claims she needs bedrest. While her doctors tell her otherwise, she determines she will have a child, and sets up a nursery. Her husband finds her staying in bed and soon locking herself in the room. Weeks go by until a young girl is allowed in and reports there is a little baby in there but it won't talk. Overcome with frustration, Mr. Hincher breaks in the bedroom to find Mrs. Hincher curled in the fetal position in a crib. They decide to go on a vacation to Florida, where Mr Hincher subsequently has a mental breakdown in the lobby of the hotel and is sent to an asylum.[2]


Salinger completed the story in late 1941 and sold this story under the name "Paula" to Stag (magazine) in 1942[3] but the magazine decided not to publish the dark tale, referenced by himself as his only documented attempt at the horror genre.[4] Salinger's agency was contacted by editors requesting he write a novel, but he was in the army by this time, and could not. In one letter he refers to this story as his only "horror" story. The story is essentially a set of fragments, and is available, as are letters referencing the piece, for a fee and required registration at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, as well as archives accessible only by his literary agency.


  1. ^ JD Salinger: A Bibliography.DM Fiene - Wisconsin Studies in Contemporary Literature, 1963
  2. ^ J.D.Salinger Collection, 1940-1974, Series I, Box I, Folder 8 Harry Ransom Center Special Collections. [1]
  3. ^ Alexander, Paul p.84 (1999). Salinger: A Biography. Los Angeles: Renaissance
  4. ^ Kenneth Slawenski.J. D. Salinger: A Life.Random House Digital, Inc., 2011.