J.D. Salinger, author of teenage favorite book, the angst-ridden The Catcher in the Rye, died of natural causes Wednesday, January 27 in his New Hampshire home. He was 91.
Salinger rose to fame with his 1951 novel, the highly influential The Catcher in the Rye. With its protagonist, Holden Caufield, Catcher was an instant best seller.
It has become a favorite amongst high school kids, who, no matter the time or trend, has almost always suffered from alienation and angst.
"Reading 'Catcher' used to be an essential rite of passage, almost as essential as getting your learner's permit," writes Charles McGrath in the New York Times. "The novel's allure persists to this day, even if some of Holden's preoccupations now seem a bit dated, and it continues to sell thousands of copies a year in paperback."
It's widely known that Mark David Chapman, the dude who killed John Lennon in 1980, had been widely influenced by Catcher. He even said his act could be explained in the pages of the book.
The author wrote a few more books, Frany and Zooey and Nine Stories to name a few. But as expected, Salinger shunned away from the limelight, refusing to give interviews, the most recent of which was in 1980, reports seattlepi.com.
So reclusive was Salinger that two years after Catcher was published, he left Manhattan (and the literary crowd!) to move to Cornish New Hampshire. "He seemed to be fulfilling Holden's desire to build himself 'a cabin somewhere with the dough I made and live there for the rest of my life' away from 'any goddamn stupid conversation with anybody,'" continues McGrath on nytimes.com.
Mister Salinger, you are much loved.