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Happy Birthday, J.D.!

by David Gura
Jan 6, 2009

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There's a joke around here, usually told by Neal, whenever we want to book a hard-to-get guest: "And while you're at it, why don't you go after J.D. Salinger?"

We've been unsuccessful so far.

The reclusive author of The Catcher in the Rye turned 90 on New Year's Day. How did he celebrate? With cake in his cabin, in Cornish, New Hampshire? Who knows?

In The Guardian, Nicolaus Mills, who teaches English at Sarah Lawrence College, muses on Salinger's literary legacy: "If we want to put Salinger in historical context we need to think of him like Ernest Hemingway — an American writer who was profoundly changed by war." Mills points to his short stories, which he says are too-often overshadowed by Catcher.

Some-58 years after Salinger's first novel was published, what do you think of the author and his oeuvre? Have you read his short stories? How has his work affected you?

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