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J.D. Salinger, author of 'Catcher in the Rye', dies aged 91

Text by Euny HONG , NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2010-02-24

US author J.D Salinger died at the age of 91 Thursday, at his home in New Hampshire. Salinger's "The Catcher in the Rye", and its hostile protagonist Holden Caulfield, brought him worldwide literary acclaim.

Author JD Salinger, author and recluse, died Wednesday at the age of 91 at his home in New Hampshire, ending 50 years of seclusion. He was one of the most influential authors of the second-half of the 20th century.
Salinger was best known for his seminal 1951 novel “Catcher in Rye”.  He fiercely guarded his privacy to the end, refusing all offers to buy the screen rights to "Catcher".
  • New Year's Day, 1918 Jerome David Salinger is born in Manhattan, New York.
  • 1940 Salinger's debut story, "The Young Ones" is published by "Story" magazine.
  • 1942 Salinger is drafted to fight in World War II.
  • 1951 "The Catcher in the Rye" is published.
  • 1953 Salinger moves to Cornish, New Hampshire, where he begins to slink away from the public eye.
  • 1955 Salinger marries Claire Douglas, with whom he has two children.
  • 1997 Salinger's last published work, "Hapsworth 16: 1924", is announced to be released in book form, but the release date is endlessly pushed back.
  • January 28, 2010 Salinger dies at his home in New Hampshire at the age of 91.

of his final public gestures came in July when a US judge suspended publication of an unauthorized sequel to "Catcher" by Swedish author Fredrik Colting.

"There's no more to Holden Caulfield. Read the book again. It's all there. Holden Caulfield is only a frozen moment in time," Salinger told the Boston Globe.
He was as known for his indirect link to the assassination of ex-Beatle John Lennon and the attempted assassination of former President Ronald Reagan as he was for his literary merits.
The disturbed Mark Chapman, who shot Lennon in New York in 1980, said repeatedly in his defence that he had been inspired by “Catcher in Rye,” and particularly by the protagonist Holden Caulfield, who denounced the “phonies” he saw all around him. Lennon, he said, was such a phony.
All of which was gruesome for Salinger, who was already disgusted with the attention he received for “Catcher in the Rye,’ which was just one of dozens of stories and books he wrote, among them, "Franny and Zooey" in 1961.
Spokesman for alienated youth
His death has brought immediate reaction in the US literary world, and even on the social networking site Twitter. On the latter, graphic novelist Neil Gaiman (“The Sandman”) wrote: “I loved the short stories, liked Catcher, admired his isolation and the way he stopped.”
The popular US opinion site, Gawker, ran an obituary Thursday, describing him as “an unofficial spokesman for every alienated or precocious teenager in the English-speaking world”.
Salinger died of natural causes.

Date created : 2010-01-28