Author of The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger continues to be the recipient of enviable posthumous fame. The 16-year-old wry narrator Holden Caulfield, the protagonist of his celebrated 1951 novel, still resonates with teenagers and young adults alike. But, in his lifetime, Salinger was equally (in)famous for being a recluse, a reputation that bordered on being notorious.
Things, however, have changed since then. His closely-lived life forayed into the public domain with a book, In Search of JD Salinger by Ian Hamilton and a memoir, At Home With The World by Joyce Maynard. Now, according to a report in The Guardian, his personal life will be privy to more eyes with an exhibition at the New York Public Library that will put on display artefacts from his personal and literary life.
This will include the original typescript of The Catcher in the Rye, which was revised by the author, and also his personal belongings, such as his bookcase, notebooks, passports, eyeglasses and a wristwatch. The report states that it was organised by his son Matt Salinger, widow Colleen Salinger and a special collections department of the library.
“He was a famously private man who shared his work with millions but his life and non-published thoughts with less than a handful of people, including me. But I’ve learned that while he may have only fathered two children, there are a great, great many readers out there who have their own rather profound relationships with him, through his work, and who have long wanted an opportunity to get to know him better,” his son said in a statement.