Open Season on Salinger, Several Lives to Live, Where Is Mom When You Need Her?, Singing in the Ring

Article excerpt

Boxer Oscar de la Hoya has the face of a choirboy. Now we'll see if he has the voice of one, too. The welterweight champ has signed a multimillion-dollar record deal. Though he won't go into the studio until after his Sept. 18 fight in Las Vegas, de la Hoya, 26, has been prepping for years. His mother, a professional singer, encouraged him to croon in restaurants, at parties--wherever there was a microphone. He also takes voice lessons. "I'm a very romantic singer," says de la Hoya, who says the first album will include Sinatra-like ballads in Spanish and English. "If you heard me sing, you'd never guess I'm a fighter." Is anyone really going to argue with him?

Open Season on Salinger

At last, poetic--or maybe it's epistolary--justice for J.D. Salinger: he may get his love letters back. Peter Norton, a software millionaire and art collector, forked over $156,000 last week to buy Salinger's letters from navel-gazing writer Joyce Maynard, who lived with the reclusive author in the 1970s. Norton doesn't criticize Maynard; he just wants to keep the letters from ruining Salinger's privacy. "My intention is to do whatever he wants done with them," says Norton, who's never met Salinger. "He may want them returned. He may want me to destroy them. He may not care at all." But Salinger can't crawl back into his hole quite yet. A new biography by Paul Alexander called "Salinger" is full of ugly details about J.D.'s alleged loves (O'Neill's daughter, Oona; teenage girls) and hates (processed food). …