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J.D. Salinger The Escape Artist by Thomas…
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J.D. Salinger The Escape Artist

by Thomas Beller

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This is as much about the author's story of trying to research J.D. Salinger as it is a biography of Salinger.

I learned a lot more about how the author and others felt about Salinger than Salinger himself. ( )
  nx74defiant | Feb 8, 2017 |
by writer and Tulane University professor Thomas Beller

Publishers Weekly
04/14/2014
"Rather than writing a straightforward biography, Beller (How to Be a Man) offers here an exceptionally well-researched, deeply felt, and thoughtful exploration of the elusive author’s history, in which he probes Salinger’s life and prickly familial ties, and their manifestation in his timeless characters and settings. "

Thomas Beller
"I came to feel, in the course of this project, that too much time and energy has been devoted to the least interesting, least productive part of his life, those years of silence up in Cornish, N.H., while the most interesting and productive part of his life, which includes the period in which he wrote all the books for which is famous, has been underserved.
My book seeks to redress that imbalance."

4 ★ ( )
  pennsylady | Jan 22, 2016 |
An interesting read, but I've noticed that my last two biographies (this and Harvey Butchart) have involved the doings of the biographer as much as the biographee. What is up with this? Sure hope this is not a trend as, in this case, I don't much care about Thomas Beller. A bit more detail regarding marriages and kid would have been welcome as well. ( )
  untraveller | Sep 1, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0544261992, Hardcover)

A spirited, deeply personal inquiry into the near-mythic life and canonical work of J. D. Salinger by a writer known for his sensitivity to the Manhattan culture that was Salinger's great theme.

Three years after his death at ninety-one, J.D. Salinger remains our most mythic writer. The Catcher in the Rye (1951) became an American classic, and he was for a long time the writer for The New Yorker. Franny and Zooey and Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters introduced, by way of the Glass family, a new type in contemporary literature: the introspective, voluble cast of characters whose stage is the Upper East Side of New York. But fame proved a burden, and in 1953 Salinger fled to New Hampshire, spending the next half century in isolation.

Beller has followed his subject’s trail, from his Park Avenue childhood to his final refuge, barnstorming across New England to visit various Salinger shrines, interviewing just about everyone alive who ever knew Salinger. The result is a quest biography in the tradition of Geoff Dyer’s Out of Sheer Rage, a book as much about the biographer as about the subject—two vivid, entertaining stories in one.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:33 -0400)

"Three years after his death at ninety-one, J.D. Salinger remains our most mythic writer. The Catcher in the Rye (1951) became an American classic, and he was for a long time the writer for The New Yorker. Franny and Zooey and Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters introduced, by way of the Glass family, a new type in contemporary literature: the introspective, voluble cast of characters whose stage is the Upper East Side of New York. But fame proved a burden, and in 1963 Salinger fled to New Hampshire, spending the next half century in isolation. Beller has followed his subject's trail, from his Park Avenue childhood to his final refuge, barnstorming across New England to visit various Salinger shrines, interviewing just about everyone alive who ever knew Salinger. The result is a quest biography in the tradition of Geoff Dyer's Out of Sheer Rage, a book as much about the biographer as about the subject--two vivid, entertaining stories in one"--… (more)

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