RIP: J.D. Salinger, 1919-2010

Death has claimed his first major victory (second if you count Howard Zinn) of 2010, with the passing of novelist and hermit J.D. Salinger from natural causes at his home in Cornish, N.H.  He was 91.

His last published work appeared in The New Yorker in 1965, but let’s be honest, he will and always will be known as the author of The Catcher in the Rye. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t read this book and if read at the appropriate stage in life most people can related to the lonely and depressed teenage Holden Caulfield.

When you’re 15 or 16 and pissed off at the world and your parents and the backstabbing fucktards you go to high school with, that novel is like a warm tonic, a shot of whiskey, liquid prose that coats and warms the inside of your guts.  Hey, I’m not alone in this misery, afterall. 

Still, for my money, his finest work will always be contained in Raise High the Roofbeams or Franny and Zooey.  Hopefully, with his passing, his literary estate will open the floodgates on whatever it was he’s been doing all these years up in Cornish.    

The full AP obit is here.

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