J.D Salinger

15 Famous Authors and Their Fashion Label Counterparts

Literature and fashion meet once again as Club Monaco has announced that its flagship retail location will host a bookstore when it opens up this week, leaving us to ponder: what are our favorite authors’ fashion-label counterparts? … Read More

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12 Coming-of-Age Novels That Are Better Than ‘Catcher in the Rye’

I hate Catcher in the Rye: a novel about a privileged Upper East Side kid who doesn’t like exclusive prep schools and has a fun day at various hotels and ice skating rinks while figuring his relatively easy life out.

If you are the son of a billionaire hedge fund manager, then perhaps Catcher in the Rye is the perfect coming of age novel for you. … Read More

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Sorry, Shane Salerno: ‘Salinger’ Is Just Bad Biography and Bad Documentary

Over at Esquire, Salinger director Shane Salerno issued a jeremiad against his “critics.” Like the blowhard he so clearly is, he doesn’t actually cite or quote any of them. So let me do that for him. Complaints, like my own, chiefly focused on the fact that the documentary was so self-serious it verged on self-parody, and thus revealed very little of substance about Salinger. … Read More

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Why Joyce Maynard Is Right About J.D. Salinger

Over the weekend, the New York Times ran an op-ed by the writer Joyce Maynard, she who is most famous for having lived with J.D. Salinger for a short period when she was in her late teens and he was… 53. I admit that I was on her side before even reading the first line of her editorial. I have what some might call a knee-jerk reaction to the kind of man who dates as far outside his age bracket as this. I cannot help but judge it. I actually think this is true of a lot of people, and that I am at most perhaps more honest about it than others. Other women, I mean. … Read More

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Brendan Jay Sullivan, Joyce Maynard, and the Proximity-to-Fame Memoir

As long as there will be famous people, there will be non-celebrities who have stories to tell about them. This practice is fairly popular in book form, and there’s a certain undefined genre of memoirs written by writers who happened to interact with celebrities. Two very good examples are Joyce Maynard’s At Home in the World, the much-maligned 1998 book in which Maynard revealed her relationship with reclusive novelist J. D. Salinger (she was 18, he was 53), and Brendan Jay Sullivan’s Rivington Was Ours, which concerns the author’s friendship with the up-and-coming Lady Gaga when she was a performer on the Lower East Side in 2006. The two books are excellent case studies in how such a story should — and shouldn’t — be told, as well as the particularly unfair and misogynistic way critics and readers respond to these types of books. … Read More

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J.D. Salinger Has All the Answers

J.D. Salinger was notoriously reclusive. This is one of the few totally verifiable facts about him. The dissonance between this… Read More

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10 Notorious Pop Culture Recluses

Salinger, the salacious, controversial, and come-to-find-out-maybe-not-that-good new J.D. Salinger documentary, is out today in limited release, casting a spotlight on America’s most notoriously reclusive novelist. And why, three years after his death and 60-plus years after the publication of his most enduring work, does he remain a figure of such fascination? Probably because he didn’t want to be. It’s the nature of American celebrity: once the public appetite is whetted, it can’t be satiated, and that goes double if you try to pull a disappearing act. After the jump, a look at some of the most famous — in spite of their wishes — recluses in pop culture history. … Read More

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Everything You Need To Know About the J.D. Salinger Documentary

The only clear takeaway from Salinger is that he was totally right to get the hell out of Dodge. If this is what the bright hot sun of public attention yields, this mishmash of people who sorta kinda knew him making hyperbolic claims, I sympathize with his impulse to disappear. We are all better off living in dark little farmhouses than in movies that include, I kid you not, reenactments where hunky actors bearing very little resemblance to oneself carry heavy-looking logs up hills. Every once in a while Salinger seems to display some faint trace of self-awareness about its bombast — as when it interviews one nut who went to Salinger seeking spiritual guidance and was told the truth, i.e., “I’m a fiction writer, go back to your family.” But there is something at once lurid and way too innocent about this film, and its accompanying book. … Read More

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Should We Get Excited About New J. D. Salinger Books?

I was J.D. Salinger’s target audience when I was 14: angsty, bookish, and looking for something that spoke to my general dislike of most people and things. Not that Salinger cared; he was somewhere on the East Coast hiding out from the public. But similar to what I’m guessing are a few thousand kids like me, reading The Catcher in the Rye had a profound impact on my life at a time when I was desperately looking for something to associate with, and eventually I read everything by him that I could. … Read More

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