J. D. Salinger has taken every precaution to hide details of his private life. Now Salinger, A Biography tells the story of America's great literary recluse. He was not always a mystery. In the 1940s and 1950s Salinger was a successful and prolific writer of American short fiction - the quintessential New Yorker writer. Then he withdrew to a cabin in New Hampshire where he practices Zen and has continued to write - but only for himself. Why is he in hiding? Who is he? Paul Alexander, a journalist and biographer, describes Salinger the human being and Salinger the icon. Alexander has based his work on newly opened archives and personal interviews with over forty major literary figures, including George Plimpton, Gay Talese, Ian Hamilton, Harold Bloom, Roger Angell, A. Scott Berg, Robert Giroux, Ved Mehta, Gordon Lish, and Tom Wolfe. In Salinger, A Biography, Alexander tells the story of a man whose fictional creations became as real to him as friends, family, and lovers - a man who chose, in adolescence, to stop his life in a freeze frame and who has lingered in that fantasy world for a half century.