J.D. Salinger

J.D. Salinger

A Life

Book - 2010
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One of the most popular and mysterious figures in American literary history, author of the classic Catcher in the Rye,  J. D. Salinger eluded fans and journalists for most of his life. Now comes a new biography that Peter Ackroyd in The Times of London calls "energetic and magnificently researched"--a book from which "a true picture of Salinger emerges." Filled with new information and revelations--garnered from countless interviews, letters, and public records-- J. D. Salinger presents an extraordinary life that spanned nearly the entire twentieth century.

Kenneth Slawenski explores Salinger's privileged youth, long obscured by misrepresentation and rumor, revealing the brilliant, sarcastic, vulnerable son of a disapproving father and doting mother and his entrance into a social world where Gloria Vanderbilt dismissively referred to him as "a Jewish boy from New York." Here too are accounts of Salinger's first broken heart--Eugene O'Neill's daughter, Oona, left him for the much older Charlie Chaplin--and the devastating World War II service ("a living hell") of which he never spoke and which haunted him forever.

J. D. Salinger features all the dazzle of this author's early writing successes, his dramatic encounters with luminaries from Ernest Hemingway to Laurence Olivier to Elia Kazan, his surprising office intrigues with famous New Yorker editors and writers, and the stunning triumph of The Catcher in the Rye , which would both make him world-famous and hasten his retreat into the hills of New Hampshire.

Whether it's revealing the facts of his hasty, short-lived first marriage or his lifelong commitment to Eastern religion, which would dictate his attitudes toward sex, nutrition, solitude, and creativity, J. D. Salinger is this unique author's unforgettable story in full--one that no lover of literature can afford to miss.
 
Publisher: New York : Random House, c2010
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
ISBN: 9781400069514
1400069513
Characteristics: x, 450 p. : ill. ; 24 cm

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debwalker Mar 01, 2011

"Almost as famous for his reclusiveness as for his writing, the author of The Catcher in the Rye wasn't much for self-disclosure. A year after his death, this well-researched biography helps shed light, and it's not always pretty. Slawenski describes a man convinced of his superiority-to the editors who "butchered" his work, to the fans who stalked his rural home. Like his professional relationships, his love life was tumultuous. He dated Charlie Chaplin's future wife Oona before marrying three times and having two children. By the time he died at 91, Salinger's son described his father as having been "in the world but not of it." J.D. Salinger is an invaluable contribution to our knowledge of the man, his demons and the literary legacy that was his most unselfish gift."
Meredith Maran, People

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