J. D. SalingerFamously Reclusive American Writer By Eric Schneider
Salinger wrote the most influential coming-of-age novel in American literature, and then almost completely receded from public life.
Jerome David "J.D." Salinger wrote the most influential and popular coming-of-age novel in American literature, a handful of revered short stories and novellas, and then almost completely receded from public life. While the Manhattan-born-and-bred writer courted literary stardom with his early work, it clearly didn't sit well with him, since Salinger tended to convey the same sense of restlessness and perpetual dissatisfaction as Holden Caulfield, the malcontent young protagonist of his 1951 classic, The Catcher in the Rye. While reading Catcher remains a rite of passage for defiant teens, Salinger's spare, pithy shorter tales remain just as relevant, a point hit home by the unforgettable sucker-punch narrative of "A Perfect Day for Bananafish," as well as his other writings about the gifted and troubled Glass family. By the mid-‘50s, Salinger had retreated to small-town New Hampshire and stayed there for the remaining decades of his life, refusing to offer up anything for publication after a 1965 story in The New Yorker, leaving frustrated biographers and his legions of dedicated fans with nothing more than controversial and unfounded claims about his personal life. Salinger passed away on January 27, 2010, with much of the latter half of his life and work shrouded in secrecy, which is most likely exactly how he wanted it.