Thursday, January 28, 2010

J.D. Salinger ( 1919-2010 )

My good friend Dave Gergani rushed to see me today with news that he had my next story, and man was he right. J. D. Salinger, author and recluse, passed away late Wednesday evening at the age of 91. Salinger, author of the classic novel "CATCHER IN THE RYE", and the creator of the immortal character Holden Caulfield. There are over 60 million copies in print. Released in 1951, it had an immediate impact both positive & negative. The novel touched on themes that would strike a nerve with teenagers (innocence & alienation, a world of fakes and adults who can't be trusted). Many disillusioned youths have felt a connection and sense of place with "Catcher". However, it was his personal life that I found so interesting. Salinger chose to live a solitary life at his home in Cornish,N.H. for over 50 years. He refused interviews, fan letters and made no public appearances. During his years of isolation it has been rumored that he has continued to write & has completed some 15 novels. Now we will wait & see. I'll be fascinated to see if any posthumously books are forthcoming for the man who brought youth rebellion & angst to the forefront. Salinger, to the end, turned down all requests to have "Catcher in the Rye" made into a motion picture. My wife and I once took a 23 day rode trip through the East Coast & the only regret I have, was we passed within 10 miles of Cornish and I didn't detour and stop. Their are several books available on J.D.Salinger, two that I've read that were very interesting were Joyce Maynard's "At Home in the World" and Margaret Salinger's (his daughter) "Dreamcatcher". Salinger is survived by his two children, a son Matthew & daughter Peggy or "Margaret". His children often did not see him in a very flattering light. So... now we wait ! As Salinger's estate is passed on (possibly to his children) will we see those hidden novels forthcoming & will they finally sell the film rights literally "over his dead body"?