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J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye Author, Dead at 91

Salinger2 I for one am done with the literary greats dying this week, thanks. sigh.

J.D. Salinger, author of the novel The Catcher in the Rye, the collection Nine Stories, and two compilations, Franny and Zooey and Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction, died Wednesday at his home in Cornish, N.H. at the age of 91, apparently of natural causes.

Famous for his reclusiveness, Salinger's career hinged on his enigmatic persona almost as much as it did on his "manifesto of disenchanted youth," The Catcher in the Rye. Reluctant to embrace fame, Salinger moved from New York and its literary scene in 1953, just two years after his novel's publication, settling into a 90-acre wooded compound in New Hampshire that he would seldom leave for more than 50 years. Salinger's desire for seclusion was echoed in his most famous character Holden Caulfield's assertion that he'd build himself “a little cabin somewhere with the dough I made and live there for the rest of my life,” away from “any goddam stupid conversation with anybody.”

He rarely engaged the press, but in 1974, after years of silence, Salinger spoke of his life in letters to a New York Times reporter, saying: “There is a marvelous peace in not publishing. It’s peaceful. Still. Publishing is a terrible invasion of my privacy. I like to write. I love to write. But I write just for myself and my own pleasure.”

He is survived by two children, Margaret and Matthew. Our deepest sympathies go out to his family, friends, and fellow admirers.







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Comments

halidan

Damn. That sucks.

As much as I had hoped that he would change his mind and publish again, I hope more that he was able to find the happiness that seemed to elude him for so long.

His talent is undeniable, his writing so beautifully honest. And even though his newest work is decades old, he will be missed.

Kathy

First Howard Zinn and now J.D. Salinger. RIP.

Cristin

My father, the high school English teacher, broke the news to me.
I honestly thought he was dead a long time ago.
I wonder if there are secret chronicles or stories.

Washington "Raise High The Roof Beams" Cube

I keep waiting for Joyce Maynard to pop out of the ether and start mouthing off again about her affair when she was 18 and he was 53--an affair her own mother encouraged (She made her daughter a "little girl" dress to really set the tone and go off to lose her virginity in.)

I have all of his books on the shelf here behind me. I should re-read one tonight since insomnia has kicked in, but I don't know if I could take the Glass family or Holden at this hour. I think I'll yank down Louisa and re-read passages of Little Women. Far safer.

Rumor has it for decades now that he has unpublished,finished novels in his safe. Time will tell.

As I said, I'm waiting for the wolves, now unchecked, to start tearing at the man.

Norman Mailer once said, "Salinger was the greatest mind ever to stay in prep school."




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