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 book The Catcher in the Rye, Salinger captured with wit and poignancy a growing malaise in post-war America. The 1951 novel The Catcher in the Rye, his best-known book, was an immediate success and remains popular and controversial. Salinger followed Catcher with Nine Stories, Franny and Zooey, and Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction.
Three Early Stories (Scholastic Edition)by J. D. Salinger
But such was not to be for several long years and the length of one long world war. The New Yorker, whose tastes in
A young and ambitious writer named Jerome David Salinger set his goals very high very early in his career. He almost desperately wished to publish his early stories in The New Yorker magazine, the pinnacle, he felt, of America's literary world.
But such was not to be for several long years and the length of one long world war. The New Yorker, whose tastes in literary matters were and remain notoriously prim and fickle, was not quite ready for this brash and over-confident newcomer with the cynical worldview and his habit of slangy dialogue. But other magazines were quick to recognize a new talent, a fresh voice at a time when the world verged on madness.
Story magazine, an esteemed and influential small circulation journal devoted exclusively to the art of the short story and still active and respected today, was the first publication to publish the name J.D. Salinger and the story "The Young Folks" in 1940, an impressive view of New York's cocktail society and two young people talking past one another, their conversation almost completely meaningless and empty.
His next short story was published in a college journal, The University of Kansas City Review, "Go See Eddie," a tale of quiet menace as an unsavory male character gradually turns up the pressure on a young lady to see a man named Eddie. Also published in 1940, the story is notable for the backstory that is omitted - a technique that Hemingway used to great effect.
Four years later toward the end of Salinger's war experience saw the publication of "Once A Week Won't Kill You," again in Story magazine. Ostensibly about a newly minted soldier trying to tell an aging aunt he is going off to war, some may see the story as a metaphor for preparing one's family for the possibility of wartime death.
Three Early Stories (Illustrated), published in 2014 by Devault-Graves Digital Editions, is the first legitimately published book by J.D. Salinger in more than 50 years. Its publication was a landmark in recent publishing history.
Of particular interest to scholars and lovers of literature, these three tales mark the earlier period in the development of Salinger as a published writer, taking him from his first story sale to his life-changing experiences in World War II.
This new Scholastic Edition of Three Early Stories, prepared by accomplished writer and English professor Michael Compton, includes a full study guide intended for use in high school and college classrooms. The study guide includes endnotes, discussion questions, writing prompts, essays and a Salinger timeline.
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Meet the Author
- Cornish, New Hampshire
- Date of Birth:
- January 1, 1919
- Date of Death:
- January 27, 2010
- Place of Birth:
- New York, New York
- Place of Death:
- Cornish, New Hampshire
- Graduated from Valley Forge Military Academy, 1936; attended New York University, Ursinus College, Columbia University
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