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Simon & Schuster
720 pages
Product Description
<B>Based on eight years of exhaustive research and exclusive interviews with more than 200 people—and published in coordination with the international theatrical release of a major documentary film from the Weinstein Company—<I>Salinger</I> is a global cultural event: the definitive biography of one of the most beloved and mysterious figures of the twentieth century.</B><p>For more than fifty years, the ever elusive author <I>of The Catcher in the Rye</I> has been the subject of a relentless stream of newspaper and magazine articles as well as several biographies. Yet all of these attempts have been hampered by a fundamental lack of access and by the persistent recycling of inaccurate information. Salinger remains, astonishingly, an enigma. The complex and contradictory human being behind the myth has never been revealed.<BR> <BR>No longer. <BR> <BR>In the eight years since <I>Salinger</I> was begun, and especially in the three years since Salinger’s death, the authors interviewed on five continents more than 200 people, many of whom had previously refused to go on the record about their relationship with Salinger. This oral biography offers direct eyewitness accounts from Salinger’s World War II brothers-in-arms, his family members, his close friends, his lovers, his classmates, his neighbors, his editors, his publishers, his <I>New Yorker</I> colleagues, and people with whom he had relationships that were secret even to his own family. Shields and Salerno illuminate most brightly the last fifty-six years of Salinger’s life: a period that, until now, had remained completely dark to biographers. Provided unprecedented access to never-before-published photographs (more than 100 throughout the book), diaries, letters, legal records, and secret documents, readers will feel they have, for the first time, gotten beyond Salinger’s meticulously built-up wall. The result is the definitive portrait of one of the most fascinating figures of the twentieth century.
Simon & Schuster
720 pages Review
<strong>An Amazon Best Book of the Month, September 2013:</strong> Salinger-ians – those who are obsessed with the fabulously successful and famously reclusive Catcher in the Rye author– will find much to argue about in this oral history by filmmaker Shane Salerno (whose related movie is released September 6) and co-writer David Shields. According to the authors and the dozens of people they interviewed, Salinger was an adolescent-girl-obsessed, religious fanatic who suffered from a kind of lifelong PTSD from his years in WWII as well as an embarrassing (to him) physical deformity; he also, according to the authors, used his reclusiveness to his own advantage, stepping out to the press and public when it suited him and the mythology they contend he at least partially created. But even those who couldn’t care less about “the finest mind ever to stay in prep school,” (Norman Mailer) will find themselves surprisingly engaged: from snippets about Salinger’s thwarted love affair with Eugene O’Neill’s daughter Oona, who dumped him for Charlie Chaplin to a lit-crit lesson on how Mark David Chapman could have possibly read Catcher as a manifesto urging him to kill John Lennon, this book says more than most about the world of writing, celebrity and American culture in the 20th century. <em>--Sara Nelson</em>