The Life and Times of Ed Salinger
After The Catcher in the Rye’s success, Salinger moved from New York City to Cornish, NH where he declined interviews and reduced his literary output considerably. Even so, his works continue to hold a special place in young people’s hearts.
Wes Anderson has also drawn upon this book when making The Royal Tenenbaums.
Early Life and Education
After graduating from Valley Forge Military Academy, Salinger briefly attended New York University but left before starting work on his debut novel. However, his writing continued to appear regularly in publications like ‘Story magazine.’
Salinger served in World War II as an Army enlisted man and saw action at major battles such as the Battle of the Bulge. In addition, he received counterintelligence training and made many friends, such as Ernest Hemingway (with whom he became good friends). Even while on active service he continued his writing, often carrying a portable typewriter in his jeep.
In 1948, he achieved success as a major writer with the publication of his short story ‘A Perfect Day for Bananafish’ in The New Yorker. This work cemented his place as one of America’s premier writers while also garnering him some degree of celebrity status that can prove both beneficial and detrimental in equal measures.
Longtime contributor to periodicals, Salinger rose to prominence when The Catcher in the Rye was published in 1951. Following its success, however, he withdrew from public life and moved back to Cornish, New Hampshire – turning down most requests for interviews as he did so.
At some point after World War II he did continue writing short stories and collecting chapters for a novel featuring Holden Caulfield. While serving in the Army’s Counterintelligence Corps during this conflict he took part in D-Day landing at Normandy, Battle of Bulge, liberation of Dachau concentration camp liberation as well as developing friendships with Ernest Hemingway and attending evening writing classes taught by Columbia University editor Whit Burnett; yet never earned his college degree.
Achievement and Honors
At the start of the 1950s, Salinger was well known in New York literary circles, playing poker and dining with editors and writers. But he could also be quite insistent that magazines publishing his stories retain each word verbatim as they printed them.
He started writing short stories involving characters from the Glass family after moving from New York to Cornish, Connecticut. In 1953 he published The Catcher in the Rye; its success granted him instant fame which he refused to accept.
Ursinus College – JD Salinger’s alma mater – now awards an annual $30,000 scholarship to students who exhibit “an unusual and compelling voice and originality in their creative writing”, including living in his or her dorm room for three months! The winner even gets to share it with him/her!
Salinger was raised in New York City, attending public and military schools alike. During World War II he served in the Army, witnessing some of its fiercest combat, such as liberating Dachau concentration camp. Later he used these experiences in several of his stories – most notably For Esme – With Love and Squalor which is narrated by an injured soldier.
After The Catcher in the Rye became an instantaneous bestseller, Salinger began to feel pressured by fans, readers and biographers to write more novels. He decided to retreat from public life by moving to Cornish, New Hampshire where he practiced Buddhism while reading texts related to Advaita Vedanta Hinduism throughout his life until his passing at age 91.
Jerome David Salinger died January 1, 2010 in Cornish, New Hampshire at age 90. Though he only published one novel–The Catcher in the Rye–it sold over 65 million copies worldwide and won multiple literary awards. Additionally he published numerous short stories such as Nine Stories and Franny and Zooey.
Biography reports that Biographie’s writer was an accomplished veteran of World War II who participated in both the Normandy Invasion and Battle of the Bulge campaigns. Additionally, he was an accomplished amateur painter.
His daughter recounts that he enjoyed dating young women and writing about them; yet was conflicted about monetizing his work, rejecting reissues or electronic book editions, believing anyone who asked for money as parasites.