Friday, January 29, 2010

Jerome David Salinger (January 1, 1919-January 27, 2010)

Jerome David "J. D." Salinger was an American author, best known for his 1951 novel The Catcher in the Rye, as well as his reclusive nature. His last original published work was in 1965 and gave his last interview in 1980.

Raised in Manhattan, Salinger began writing short stories while in secondary school, and published several stories in the early 1940s before serving in World War II. In 1948 he published the critically acclaimed story A Perfect Day for Bananafish in The New Yorker magazine which became home to much of his subsequent work. In 1951 Salinger released his novel The Catcher in the Rye, an immediate popular success. His depiction of adolescent alienation and loss of innocence in the protagonist Holden Caulfield was influential, especially among adolescent readers. The novel remains widely read and controversial, selling around 250,000 copies a year.

The success of The Catcher in the Rye led to public attention and scrutiny; Salinger becoming reclusive and publishing new work less frequently. He followed Catcher with a short story collection, Nine Stories (1953), a collection of a novella and a short story, Franny and Zooey (1961), and a collection of two novellas, Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction (1963). His last published work, a novella entitled Hapworth 16, 1924 appeared in The New Yorker on June 19, 1965.

Afterward, Salinger struggled with unwanted attention, including a legal battle in the 1980s with biographer Ian Hamilton and the release in the late 1990s of memoirs written by two people close to him: Joyce Maynard, an ex-lover; and Margaret Salinger, his daughter. In 1996, a small publisher announced a deal with Salinger to publish Hapworth 16, 1924 in book form, but amid the ensuing publicity, the release was indefinitely delayed. He made headlines around the globe in June 2009 after filing a lawsuit against another writer for copyright infringement for the writer's use of one of Salinger's characters from Catcher in the Rye.

Salinger died of natural causes on January 27, 2010 at his home in Cornish, New Hampshire


Anonymous said...

I never read anything else by him but The Catcher in The Rye. I think it's one of the best books I've ever read. K.

Mama Zen said...

Amazing writer!

ChaChaneen said...

I have never read Catcher in the Rye. I should probably add it to my book list.

Hope your having a great Friday Petra!

petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

Hi K.! Loved The Catcher in The Rye. It's the only thing I've ever read by him too!

Yes, he was, MZ! Can you believe, he's been able to live a comfortable life on the royalties from Catcher?

Hi Janeen! There are so many books I'd like to add to my wishlist! I can even join your Jane Austen book club because I've read them all! ;)

Have a great weekend, Janeen! :))

i beati said...

I love that he lived for himself those last 30 .He certqinly made his mark as did Harold

petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

Wholeheartedly agree, Sandy! :))

ChaChaneen said...

Alright Petra, your in the Austen club! Of course that means you'll have to join us regularly for Afternoon Tea now. YIPEE!!! How will you ever get through the mounds of cream and berries? I'm just saying...