J.D. Salinger: A Life of Seclusion

Known for the revolutionary novel, The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger makes our list for one of the most influential writers of all time. After his famous novel helped shape generations to come, J.D. Salinger fled New York City to live a secluded life. Despite his private life, we do know some about this famous author. Let’s take a look at what we know about the mysterious J.D. Salinger.

Born Jerome David Salinger on January 1st, 1919 in New York, New York. His parents Miriam and Sol Salinger had two other children, Salinger being the youngest. When Salinger was a young boy he never thrived in school. He flunked out of McBurney School and was eventually forced to attend Valley Forge Military Academy in Pennsylvania.

Once Salinger graduated from Valley Forge, he returned home and began attending New York University. Salinger was only going to attend the university for one year before heading off to travel through Europe. Sol desired his son to head overseas to learn a new language along with the in’s and out’s of importing. However, while Salinger was spending his time in Vienna, he paid very little attention to the business. Salinger eventually made his way back home to finish college. Upon his return he began attending Ursinus College, but eventually moved back to New York and instead took night classes at Colombia.

As Salinger’s life began falling into place, he was drafted into the army. Salinger served his time from 1942 to 1944. The short period of time that Salinger spent in the army was spent on Utah Beach, France while the Normandy Invasion was taking place. Serving in the war did not prevent Salinger from pursuing his true passion.

Upon his return to New York, J.D. Salinger wasted no time starting his writing career. After pushing his novel, The Catcher in the Rye was finally published in 1951. The novel received mixed reviews at first, some critics believed the main character to be too immoral for young readers. However, the novel gradually grew more popular and now is considered one of the most important novels to come out of the 20th century.

Although we know Salinger for his revolutionary novel, he has actually published other works. A collection of Salinger’s short stories were put together into a book and published in the early 60’s On June 19th, 1965 a special edition of The New Yorker was released. This issue featured a 25,000 word story titled Hapworth 16, 1924. Hapworth was the last piece that was every published by Salinger during his lifetime.

J.D. Salinger was not cut out for the fame that Catcher brought him. Only a few years after the novel was published he moved away from New York. Salinger preferred his privacy and went on to live a very secluded life until his death. Although Salinger didn’t publish anything else after Hapworth, after his death five unpublished works were found in his house.

Despite his lack of writing, Salinger has inspired many young generations through his phony hating character, Holden Caulfield. His work will forever live on in the hearts of many fans.