Dusty Quotations

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Who is J.D. Salinger?

Jerome David Salinger (/ˈsælɪndʒər/; January 1, 1919 – January 27, 2010) was an American writer best known for his 1951 novel The Catcher in the Rye. Before its publication, Salinger published several short stories in Story magazine and served in World War II. In 1948, his critically acclaimed story “A Perfect Day for Bananafish” appeared in The New Yorker, which published much of his later work.

The Catcher in the Rye was an immediate popular success. Salinger’s depiction of adolescent alienation and loss of innocence in the protagonist Holden Caulfield was influential, especially among adolescent readers. The novel was widely read and controversial, and its success led to public attention and scrutiny. Salinger became reclusive, publishing less frequently. He followed Catcher with a short story collection, Nine Stories (1953); Franny and Zooey (1961), a volume containing a novella and a short story; and a volume containing two novellas, Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction (1963).

Salinger’s last published work, the novella “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 his daughter Margaret Salinger.

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