Saturday, January 1, 2011

J.D. Salinger (January 1, 1919)

J.D.Salinger, the notoriously reclusive author, had a Jewish father and Catholic mother, but he thought that his mother was Jewish until after his Bar Mitzvah. I first read Catcher in the Rye when I was in junior high school and I wouldn’t have said it had any Jewish content (still don’t see it unless being an outsider is uniquely Jewish). However, Fanny and Zooey and other stories about them (which my friend Olga and I read in old library copies of the New Yorker shortly before its book publication) depict a Jewish family with Jewish Angst, so I guess that makes him a secular Jewish author. Full disclosure: I have no New York connections or background, so things that are so newyorky just don’t really seem to have a direct connection to my life.

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