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
The blurb promised 'Sri Lanka's first collection of 17 scorching short stories and poems that evoke a world of heady sensuality and offer a veritable smorgasbord of spicy fantasies'. Now I usually don't judge a book by its cover - and this one had a sensual, bared-back woman with a cigarette in her hand - and its jacket, but the blurb, indeed, was promising. And I would be lying if...
01:06 PM, Feb 14, 2012
In the preface to First Draft, B.G. Verghese says, “my reports and reflections from day to day were my story, a worm’s eye view of the world as it passed me by.’’ The view is of a person who stood by the ringside as events unfolded, shaping the history of India. First Draft is an account of the past half-century of the country as seen by Verghese; mostly as a...
04:21 PM, Nov 29, 2010