Almanac January 1 :: J.D. Salinger
Jerome David Salinger ( January 1, 1919 – January 27, 2010) was an American writer. He last published an original work in 1965, and gave his last interview in 1980.
Raised in Manhattan, Salinger began writing short stories while in secondary school, and published several in Story magazine in the early 1940s before serving in World War II. In 1948 his critically acclaimed story "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" appeared in The New Yorker magazine, which became home to much of his later work. In 1951 his novel The Catcher in the Rye was an immediate popular success. His depiction of adolescent alienation and loss of innocence in the protagonist Holden Caulfield was influential, especially among adolescent readers. The novel remains widely read and controversial, selling around 250,000 copies a year.
The success of The Catcher in the Rye led to public attention and scrutiny: Salinger became reclusive, publishing new work less frequently. He followed Catcher with a short story collection, Nine Stories (1953), a volume containing a novella and a short story, Franny and Zooey (1961), and a volume containing two novellas, Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction (1963). His last published work, a novella entitled "Hapworth 16, 1924", appeared in The New Yorker on June 19, 1965.
Afterward, Salinger struggled with unwanted attention, including a legal battle in the 1980s with biographer Ian Hamilton and the release in the late 1990s of memoirs written by two people close to him: Joyce Maynard, an ex-lover; and Margaret Salinger, his daughter. In 1996, a small publisher announced a deal with Salinger to publish "Hapworth 16, 1924" in book form, but amid the ensuing publicity, the release was indefinitely delayed. He made headlines around the globe in June 2009 when he filed a lawsuit against another writer for copyright infringement resulting from that writer's use of one of the characters from The Catcher in the Rye. Salinger died of natural causes on January 27, 2010, at his home in Cornish, New Hampshire.