Thursday, 7 March 2013

The Upcoming Biography of J.D. Salinger

The New York Times Art Beat blog reports that a biography of the reclusive J.D. Salinger, who died in 2010, will be published by Simon & Schuster in September. Entitled The Private War of J.D. Salinger, it has been eight years in the making and is based on interviews with 150 people who worked with, knew, or were influenced by Salinger. One of the co-authors, Shane Salerno, who also wrote the screenplay for the movie Savages, said of Salinger: “The myth that people have read about and believed for 60 years about J.D. Salinger is one of someone too pure to publish, too sensitive to be touched. We replace the myth of Salinger with an extraordinarily complex, deeply contradictory human being. Our book offers a complete re-evaluation and reinterpretation of the work and the life.”

It's interesting to note that two previous works published during Salinger's lifetime also purported to be an intimate portrait of Salinger. In 1999 his ex-lover Joyce Maynard, after selling Salinger's private letters at auction, published At Home in the World: A Memoir, chronicling her relationship with Salinger, who was 35 years older. This was followed in 2000 by the publication of the controversial and largely unflattering portrait of Salinger in Dreamcatcher: A Memoir, written by his daughter Margaret.

The publisher of the forthcoming biography is billing it as an opportunity for Salinger's readers to know the author better. Those who grew up reading Salinger's exquisite short stories and his coming-of-age novel The Catcher in the Rye may wish to give it a pass, however, and continue to let the writer's works speak for themselves.

For the original article, see

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