Paul Alexander Salinger: A Biography

ISBN 13: 9781580630801

Salinger: A Biography

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9781580630801: Salinger: A Biography
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The first full-length account of the life of this most reclusive author is based on careful research, which included both published sources and interviews with other literary figures, and connects Salinger's experiences with his work. 75,000 first printing. Tour.

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Review:

So averse to any kind of publicity that he went to court to prevent a previous biography, J.D. Salinger will undoubtedly be distressed by this book as well, especially since author Paul Alexander suggests that the writer's reclusiveness might be just a shrewd ploy to pique readers' interest and maintain good sales for his books. The Catcher in the Rye hardly needs that kind of help; the novel has been hugely popular since its initial release in 1951, though even then Salinger found the publication process distasteful. What made him abnormally sensitive to the stresses of public life? Readers won't find out here, although Alexander capably narrates the scant biographical material available: Salinger's birth in 1919; his aimless, academically underachieving youth; military service in some of World War II's grimmest battles; two failed marriages; self-exile from publishing at the height of his fame; the 1973 affair with teenage writer Joyce Maynard; and her arguably revengeful 1998 memoir. It would probably please Salinger that the psychological forces that power his creativity and eccentricity remain a mystery. Alexander notes the writer's near-exclusive focus on young people in his fiction, as well as the fact that Salinger's romantic relations have almost all been with very young women, but he can't really explain these facts. There just isn't enough information, although some enjoyably gossipy quotes from various interviews (ranging from usual literary suspects like George Plimpton to Salinger's former housekeeper) keep the book quite readable. --Wendy Smith

About the Author:

Paul Alexander is a journalist for magazines, including the New York Observer, Rolling Stone, New York Magazine, George, and Interview.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780312673345: Salinger: A Biography

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0312673345 ISBN 13:  9780312673345
Publisher: Renaissance Books, 2010
Softcover

9781447265030: Salinger: A Biography

Picador, 2013
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9781580631488: Salinger: A Biography

Renais..., 2000
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9781447270072: Salinger: A Biography

Picador, 2015
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