His cloistered lifestyle and limited output have not prevented readers and writers from lionizing J. D. Salinger. With one-of-a-kind stories and the classic novel The Catcher in the Rye, he captured, with wit and poignance, a growing malaise in post-war America.
Jerome David Salinger, was born in New York City on Jan. 1, 1919, and established his reputation on the basis of a single novel, The Catcher in the Rye (1951), whose principal character, Holden Caulfield, epitomized the growing pains of a generation of high school and college students. The public attention that followed the success of the book led Salinger to move from New York to the remote hills of Cornish, New Hampshire. Before that he had published only a few short stories; one of them, "A Perfect Day for Bananafish," which appeared in The New Yorker in 1949, introduced readers to Seymour Glass, a character who subsequently figured in Franny and Zooey (1961) and Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenter and Seymour: An Introduction (1963), Salinger's only other published books. Of his 35 published short stories, those which Salinger wishes to preserve are collected in Nine Stories (1953).