J. D. Salinger: The Catcher in the Rye and Other Works

J. D. Salinger: The Catcher in the Rye and Other Works

J. D. Salinger: The Catcher in the Rye and Other Works

J. D. Salinger: The Catcher in the Rye and Other Works

Synopsis

Sometimes the personal stories behind famous writers can be as compelling as the works they pen. This new series introduces the life and writings of authors whose works forever changed the time period in which they lived, and whose writing continues to be a dynamic part of the literary landscape. Each book in the series contains a comprehensive list of the author's works, while highlighting and analyzing the writings most often discussed in high schools. from F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby to Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, an in-depth analysis of the writings and the historical time period in which they were written, along with the writers' biographies and critical commentaries of the past and present, provide the reader with a unique look into the worlds of these cultural icons and the writings we have come to regard as timeless.

Excerpt

JEROME DAVID (J. D.) SALINGER has created two myths that have fascinated readers and critics for over half a century: Holden Caulfield and J. D. Salinger. Born in New York City on New Year’s Day in 1919, Salinger grew up between the two world wars, fought in major battles in World War II, and became a serious short-story writer in the late 1940s. His chief claim to fame is his one novel, The Catcher in the Rye, published in 1951. Two years later, he collected some of his earlier stories into one volume called Nine Stories. Later, he combined four of his five stories written after Catcher into two books: Franny and Zooey (1961) and Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction (1963). Although somewhat popular with the same readers who admire Salinger’s novel, these last stories are not seen as equal to The Catcher in the Rye. The creation of Holden Caulfield is Salinger’s crowning achievement. Although reviews were mixed when the book appeared, the obscene language was criticized from the beginning. As the novel increased in popularity and was placed on high school reading lists, many adults called for it to be banned. Nevertheless, the novel continued to sell well and to touch the lives of a wide variety of readers. Salinger’s second myth, the legend of his own life, has enthralled people for decades, even though he has not published any work since 1965. He is one of the most famous literary recluses, withdrawing from the public eye to live in the hills of Cornish, New Hampshire, in 1953. Since then he has rarely granted interviews or made public appearances, finding fame, publicity, and literary criticism abhorrent. Although the myth of J. D. Salinger has been . . .

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