Tuesday, February 9, 2010

J.D. Salinger's Rare Photos

Today I came across these rare photographs of J.D. Salinger and his daughter Margaret at the Times Online. It shows another side of this reclusive writer. For more photos go here .

How can I describe the impact that The Catcher in the Rye had on me at the age of fourteen? I borrowed the book from the library, not knowing anything about it. I was attracted to its plain cover and I was intrigued that there were no blurbs on it nor any description of its plot. Holden Caulfield ensnared me from that first sentence....

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.

I loved the book so much that I never returned that copy to the library. I told them I'd lost it. I didn't want to buy a new copy from the bookstore...I wanted THE copy I had read that first time. Nothing else would do. Thanks J.D...for the books and for Holden.


  1. Thanks for sharing these photos. I've been reading more about Salinger since his death, and plan to read Catcher in the Rye again after 30+ years.

  2. He looks so handsome. Were they estranged after Margaret published her memoirs on her father?

  3. Yes, thanks for sharing. Love these, which show him smiling. I also might read Catcher in the Rye again, and follow up with his others which I haven't yet.

  4. Thank you for sharing these wonderful photos and for recounting your first experience with J.D. Salinger's work. I am almost ashamed to admit that I didn't read The Catcher in the Rye until this year and I am in my mid-forties. I think I would have enjoyed it more had I first read it as a teenager. My son who is 15 (almost 16) started reading it after I finished and promptly loved it!

  5. I really like the photos, and I love the way described falling in love with Catcher in the Rye. Franny and Zooey is terrific, too.

  6. @Diane & Claire - I'd love to reread the book too. I've since lost that copy I wrote about. Luckily, my husband has a copy too.

    @Mae - I'm not sure if it was Margaret's memoirs that caused their estrangement. I'd like to find a good biography of Salinger. I'm not sure if there's a good one available. I must look it up.

    @Kathleen - it's better late than never but I do agree it's much better to read it as an adolescent.

    @Stephanie - Franny & Zooey is good too but I prefer the Catcher. Maybe it's time to reread F&Z again too.

  7. Great post. I just read "Catcher in the Rye" last year, at the ripe old age of 30. Initially hooked by the first line, then annoyed with the whining, only to wind up hooked yet again on the intricate weaving of back story and present issues. Truly a remarkable work. Thank you for sharing.

  8. I was 19 when I first read it, but my experience with Catcher was similar. And then with Franny & Zooey, and all the other Glass family books...Salinger gave me so much.


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