One of the most popular and mysterious figures in American literary history, 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: A Life 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 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.
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by Scott Adams
by Mark Twain
by Hal Borland
by Randall Ingermanson, John Olson
"This study of the famously elusive writer will appeal to any book lover. Norman Dietz offers a placid performance as he moves through Salinger's life with a measured and likable voice. His steady, deliberate pace suits the way Slawenski blends occasionally dry facts with anecdotal scenes featuring the man who gave the world CATCHER IN THE RYE. Any fan of Holden Caulfield will be listening for hints of what inspired Salinger's coming-of-age classic. While more real-life anecdotes would probably be too much to ask for, considering Salinger's reclusive life, the personal glimpses of him are the heart of this biography. Dietz is an affable performer; his warmth is welcoming, and the material he shares, while not new, is certainly interesting. L.B.F. (c) AudioFile 2011, Portland, Maine"
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