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J.D. Salinger: A Life Raised High
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J.D. Salinger: A Life Raised High

Author: Kenneth Slawenski

The definitive biography of one of the most influential authors of our time.

On 27 January 2010, J.D. Salinger, author of the much-loved classic The Catcher in the Rye, died peacefully at his New Hampshire home. Catcher has sold more than 65 million copies and inspired a generation of writers including Vonnegut, Updike, Nabokov and Plath; but little is known of the famously reclusive Salinger, who gave his last interview 30 years ago.

In this new biography, Salinger expert Kenneth Slawenski recounts the author's intriguing life. Salinger maintained a lonely obsession with writing despite floundering at university, serving in World War II with comrade Ernest Hemingway and conducting numerous love affairs and marriages that resulted in two children.

At first delighted to become part of the New Yorker published elite, Salinger soon grew uncomfortable with the popular success of Catcher. He fought with his publishers, explored spirituality and eventually moved to the country, from where he fiercely protected both his privacy and his writing - most recently with his 2009 lawsuit challenging a forthcoming 'sequel' to Catcher.

Slawenski researched this book for eight years, speaking with more than 60 people connected to Salinger, trawling libraries for letters, uncovering birth certificates and marriage licences and gaining access to previously unavailable records. J.D. Salinger: A Life Raised High is a comprehensive and brave work that makes a timely tribute to a fascinating man.