J.D. Salinger: The Last Interview

And Other Conversations

Edited and with an Introduction by David Streitfeld

From the moment J. D. Salinger published The Catcher in the Rye in 1951, he was stalked by besotted fans, would-be biographers, and pushy journalists. In this collection of rare and revealing encounters with the elusive literary giant, Salinger discusses—sometimes willingly, sometimes grudgingly—what that onslaught was like, the autobiographical origins of his art, and his advice to writers. Including his final, surprising interview, and with an insightful introduction by New York Times journalist David Streitfeld, these enlightening, provocative, and even amusing conversations reveal a writer fiercely resistant to the spotlight but powerless to escape its glare.

Edited and with an introduction by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Streitfeld.

J. D. Salinger (b. 1919, New York, NY; d. 2010, Cornish, NH) was one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century. His landmark novel The Catcher in the Rye is widely established as a defining novel of post-World War II America. He is also the author of the collections Nine Stories, Franny and Zooey, and Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction.  Though he continued to write up until his death in 2010, Salinger was fiercely reclusive and stopped publishing his work in 1965.

DAVID STREITFELD is the editor of The Last Interview books on Gabriel García Márquez, Philip K. Dick and Hunter S. Thompson, all published by Melville House. He is a reporter for The New York Times, where in 2013 he was part of the team awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his family and too many books.

“A man who used language as if it were pure energy beautifully controlled, and who knew exactly what he was doing in every silence as well as in every word.” —Richard Yates

“His fiction, in its rather grim bravado, its humor, its morbidity, its wry but persistent hopefulness, matches the shape and tint of present American life.” —John Updike

“Salinger, more than anyone else, has not turned his back on the times, but, instead, has managed to put his finger on whatever struggle of significance is going on today between self and culture.” —Philip Roth

 

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