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large paperback,good condition.preloved

Maynard, novelist, essayist, columnist and Web-page chatteuse, was a freshman at Yale in April 1972 when the New York Times Magazine published her cover article, "An Eighteen Year Old Looks Back on Life." Of the hundreds of letters she received, one from the reclusive J.D. Salinger, then 53, praising her talent and warning her against the dangers of early success, struck a particular chord. Maynard wrote back and, following a summer of letters, phone calls and visits she dropped out of Yale and moved in with him. Maynard's observant, straight-faced presentation of what are nonetheless often hilarious events chez Salinger has to be one of the shrewdest deflations of a literary reputation on record. What's plain and most damaging is the nature of Jerry's interest in Joyce, who looked about 11 and who arrived for her first visit in a dress almost identical to one she wore in first grade. Maynard poignantly describes her alienation and isolation, which Salinger reinforced before cruelly discarding her. Unable for legal reasons to quote Salinger's letters, Maynard nevertheless makes the reader see why his words so captivated her. Once she moved in, however, Jerry began to sound like an aging Holden Caulfield, abrasive and contemptuous. Maynard’s painstaking honesty about herself lends credence to her portrayal of Salinger as something worse than a cranky eccentric. This will be a hard story to ignore.”

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  • Seller location: North Shore, Auckland, NZ

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