J. D. Salinger: A Life

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Product Details

Random House Trade
Publish Date
5.55 X 0.98 X 8.1 inches | 0.8 pounds
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About the Author

Kenneth Slawenski is the creator of DeadCaulfields.com, a website founded in 2004 and recommended by The New York Times. He has been working on this biography for eight years. Slawenski was born in New Jersey, and has lived there all his life.


"Startling . . . insightful . . . [a] terrific literary biography."--USA Today

"It is unlikely that any author will do a better job than Mr. Slawenski capturing the glory of Salinger's life."--The Wall Street Journal

"Slawenski fills in a great deal and connects the dots assiduously; it's unlikely that any future writer will uncover much more about Salinger than he has done."--Boston Sunday Globe

"Offers perhaps the best chance we have to get behind the myth and find the man."--Newsday

"[Slawenski has] greatly fleshed out and pinned down an elusive story with precision and grace."--Chicago Sun-Times

"Earnest, sympathetic and perceptive . . . [Slawenski] does an evocative job of tracing the evolution of Salinger's work and thinking."--The New York Times

"A first-rate book which is especially good on the links between Salinger's fictions and their thematic developments . . . The passages on Salinger's own war show that Slawenski can be an excellent storyteller himself, as he follows his subject through the thick of the horrors from D-Day to the Battle of the Bulge."--The Daily Telegraph

"A welcome trove of information. Partly through exhaustive biographical research (especially into the early years) and partly through porings over almost unknown, uncollected stories, Slawenski enthrallingly illuminates what turned Salinger into an extraordinary literary phenomenon."--The Sunday Times

"Slawenski sets about his task with such unblushing love and zest that his book is as irresistible to me as Salinger himself. . . . Slawenski has a priceless humility and a sympathy with his subject which is unstinting though not unqualified. As a result, I think you get from him a rather better idea of what Salinger was really like and why he lived his life as he did than you might from a biography which is licensed to describe itself as 'scholarly' or 'authorised.' . . . If you can imagine Salinger having a soft spot for any book about him . . . then Slawenski's might be the one."--The Spectator

"Diligent, respectful, resolute in its refusal to include gossip, always ready to acknowledge the point at which evidence ends and speculation begins."--The Mail on Sunday