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The "brilliant, funny, meaningful novel" (The New Yorker) that established J. D. Salinger as a leading voice in American literature--and that has instilled in millions of readers around the world a lifelong love of books. "If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth." The hero-narrator of The Catcher in the Rye is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caufield. Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days.
NATIONAL BESTSELLER • The inspiration for the major motion picture Rebel in the Rye One of the most popular and mysterious figures in American literary history, the author of the classic Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger eluded fans and journalists for most of his life. Now he is the subject of this definitive biography, which is filled with new information and revelations garnered from countless interviews, letters, and public records. Kenneth Slawenski explores Salinger’s privileged youth, long obscured by misrepresentation and rumor, revealing the brilliant, sarcastic, vulnerable son of a disapproving father and doting mother. Here too are accounts of Salinger’s first broken heart—after Eugene O’Neill’s daughter, Oona, left him—and the devastating World War II service that haunted him forever. J. D. Salinger features this author’s dramatic encounters with luminaries from Ernest Hemingway to Elia Kazan, his office intrigues with famous New Yorker editors and writers, and the stunning triumph of The Catcher in the Rye, which would both make him world-famous and hasten his retreat into the hills of New Hampshire. J. D. Salinger is this unique author’s unforgettable story in full—one that no lover of literature can afford to miss. Praise for J. D. Salinger: A Life “Startling . . . insightful . . . [a] terrific literary biography.”—USA Today “It is unlikely that any author will do a better job than Mr. Slawenski capturing the glory of Salinger’s life.”—The Wall Street Journal “Slawenski fills in a great deal and connects the dots assiduously; it’s unlikely that any future writer will uncover much more about Salinger than he has done.”—Boston Sunday Globe “Offers perhaps the best chance we have to get behind the myth and find the man.”—Newsday “[Slawenski has] greatly fleshed out and pinned down an elusive story with precision and grace.”—Chicago Sun-Times “Earnest, sympathetic and perceptive . . . [Slawenski] does an evocative job of tracing the evolution of Salinger’s work and thinking.”—The New York Times
A New York Times Editor’s Choice Pick “A novel of huge heart and fierce intelligence. It has restored my faith in pretty much everything.” —Ann Patchett, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Commonwealth “[An] electric debut novel…Reader, beware: Spending time with Lucy is unapologetic fun, and heartbreak, and awe as well.” —Chloe Malle, The New York Times Book Review In this “frank, bittersweet coming-of-age story that crackles with raw adolescent energy, fresh-cut prose, and a kinetic sense of place” (Entertainment Weekly), a teenaged tomboy explores love, growing up, and New York City in the early 1990s. New York, 1993. Street-smart seventeen-year-old Lucy Adler is often the only girl on the public basketball courts. Lucy’s inner life is a contradiction. She’s by turns quixotic and cynical, insecure and self-possessed, and, despite herself, is in unrequited love with her best friend and pickup teammate, Percy, the rebellious son of a prominent New York family. As Lucy begins to question accepted notions of success, bristling against her own hunger for male approval, she is drawn into the world of a pair of provocative feminist artists living in what remains of New York’s bohemia. Told with wit and pathos, The Falconer is at once a novel of ideas, a portrait of a time and place, and an ode to the obsessions of youth. In her critically acclaimed debut, Dana Czapnik captures the voice of an unforgettable modern literary heroine, a young woman in the first flush of freedom.