Q: Have you ever granted an interview to anyone?
A: Knowledgeably? No.
Q: Have you ever granted an interview unknowledgeably to anyone?
A: Apparently, yes.
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.
“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