'Catcher in the Rye' author Salinger dies aged 91
Published 29/01/2010 | 05:00
RECLUSIVE American author JD Salinger, who wrote the American literary classic 'The Catcher in the Rye', has died in New Hampshire aged 91, his agent said last night.
'The Catcher in the Rye', published in 1951, is the story of alienation and rebellion, featuring the teenage hero Holden Caulfield. The book immediately resonated with adolescent and young adult readers.
The work has been translated into the world's major languages and sold more than 65 million copies. Salinger had been a recluse since 1953, ferociously protecting his privacy in Cornish, a small town in north-west New Hampshire.
Besides 'The Catcher in the Rye', he published only a few books and collections of short stories in his literary career.
Neighbours in Cornish rarely saw him and he never returned phone calls or letters from readers or admirers.
Only rumours, infrequent sightings, lawsuits and rare, brief interviews brought him to public attention.
As such, Salinger would have been a disappointment to his most famous creation.
"What really knocks me out," Caulfield said in 'The Catcher in the Rye', "is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it."
Salinger's writing has influenced several prominent writers, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist John Updike.
He said the short stories of Salinger "really opened my eyes as to how you can weave fiction out of a set of events that seem almost unconnected, or very lightly connected".