January 2010 | Jonathan Shipley

J.D. Salinger Has Died

The New York Times has his obituary (with original reviews of his work, an appraisal of his work, and a walking tour as you follow in the footsteps of Holden Caulfield) and MSNBC has a report. The New Yorker has an archive of all the stories he published in the magazine and a piece about what The Catcher in the Rye meant and means. The Paris Review points to an old interview with Robert Giroux who had a chance to be the first to publish J.D. Salinger. NPR remembers the author and Time Magazine has a story about his passing. Included in the piece is the magazine's original review of The Catcher in the Rye and the cover image of September 15, 1961. Jesse Kornbluth, for The Huffington Post, remembers the man, as does David Levithan in The Wall Street Journal. USA Today got quotes from T.C. Boyle and Garrison Keillor about Salinger, The Guardian gets quotes from Joyce Carol Oates, Dave Eggers and others, and The Daily Beast excerpts Joyce Maynard's memoir, in which she describes her affair with Salinger. Maynard has also posted a brief statement on her website. Joshua Ferris remembers Salinger and so does Wes Anderson for The New Yorker and Sam Anderson for New York Magazine. Publisher Roger Lathbury remembers a book deal with Salinger gone sour for The Washington Post. The newspaper in Concord, New Hampshire, the Concord Monitor, now has a special section devoted to Salinger and the New York Public Library says goodbye. So does the Austin Statesman. The piece highlights the Salinger papers held at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas - Austin. Tom Leonard recalls visiting Salinger in New Hampshire last year and hearing what are likely Salinger's last words to the mediaThese men were in hopes of catching Salinger, interviewing old Salinger schoolmates and the like. They might have listened to, on their travels, Salinger-related rock-n-roll. Last year, Kevin Flynn was "Desperately Seeking Salinger" for NHMagazine.com and very well could have met him. In the 1960s, Jim Sadwith did. You can learn of his story on The Story.

A brief aside: Don't forget Will Smith's monologue about The Catcher in the Rye in the movie Six Degrees of Separation. Don't forget that Salinger's son was Captain America. Don't forget to take notes on a lecture done at Yale University by
Professor Hungerford about Salinger's Franny and Zooey. Don't forget the ongoing thoughts of bringing his novel to the silver screen and don't forget Jim Lehrer's wishes in regards to interviewing the author.

For more on the life and work of Salinger, Dead Caulfields would be a good place to start, along with this site. To read some of his uncollected work, go here and go here to read letters people wrote to J.D. Salinger. They won't get a reply, but they may be able to read his unpublished work if there is, in fact, something in his safe. Either way, the residents of Cornish, New Hampshire, will undoubtedly respect the man's privacy, even in death. 

Hide not your tears but don't be a phony mourning his death.