When JD Salinger passed away in 2010 at the age of 91, it became clear that he hadn't lost his ability to split the world into two. Either you get the Glass family, or you don't. The precocious siblings were refractions of the author's own identity, something that becomes more than evident as you read Kenneth Slawenski's excellent biography.
Even though I read 'The Catcher in the Rye' fairly late -- not as a precocious teen, but as a disgruntled adolescent -- Holden Caulfield spoke to me, as he did to millions (apparently more than 38 million!).
A professor recommended Franny and Zooey, but I only took that leap much later, and then read the most excellent To Esme With Love and Squalor (available at the time, it seems only in one independent book shop in Basant Lok), and Seymour: An Introduction. I say this as a disclaimer, because I am beholden (couldn't resist!) to JD for life. I believed in the Glasses, I believed in Seymour, and I believe in the 'fat lady' he refers to.
This biography, 'JD Salinger: A Life Raised High', by Kenneth Slawenski, is a tour de force of a tribute. JD was notoriously private, and died as he lived, a recluse. Slawenski helps extricate the man from the myth, and also traces the oft-painful trajectory (courtesy several rejections and re-rejections) of JD's publishing career....more
09:50 PM, Mar 29, 2012
London: Previously unseen letters from 'The Catcher in the Rye' author JD Salinger show the kind of "warmth" and "affection" not often associated with someone who is seen as an eccentric recluse, a university said on Thursday. Salinger wrote the letters to Donald Hartog from London, between October 1986 and January 2002, and Hartog's daughter Frances and his other children have donated them to Britain's University of East Anglia (UEA)...
05:02 PM, Jan 27, 2011