PLEDGE NOW
Remembering J.D. Salinger

J.D. Salinger in 1951. (AP)

Post your comments below 

J.D. Salinger wrote the book on teenage alienation. His novel “The Catcher in the Rye,” out in 1951, has sold 63 million copies. That is a lot of teenagers, for a lot of years, reading Holden Caulfield chasing “phonies” through the streets of New York. 

There was more. “Franny and Zooey.” “A Perfect Day for Bananafish.” And then, half a century ago, J.D. Salinger just checked out. Burrowed into the hills of New Hampshire and shut the door. 

This week, Salinger died, at 91. His legacy is huge. And there may be a lot more of it, waiting to be read. 

This hour, On Point: The life and work of J.D. Salinger. 

 

Guests: 

Joining us from North Haven, Conn., is Amy Hungerford, professor of English at Yale University. She focuses on American Literature since 1945 and teaches the works of J.D. Salinger in her undergradaute course “The American Novel Since 1945.” Her forthcoming book, “Postmodern Belief: American Literature and Religion Since 196o,”  will focus heavily on J.D. Salinger’s use of religion in his writing. 

And from New Haven, Conn., is Will Hochman, professor of English at Southern Connecticut State University. He’s co-author of the forthcoming book, “A Critical Companion to J.D. Salinger” and co-author and co-editor of “Letters to J.D. Salinger.” 

More links: 

Charles McGrath’s New York Times obituary.  Also from The Times, critic Michiko Kakutani’s appraisal; McGrath’s essay on Salinger’s 90th birthday, in December 2008; and Jennifer Schuessler’s piece, “Get a Life, Holden Caulfield,” from this past June.  

The Boston Globe’s obituary by Mark Feeney and Alex Beam’s appreciation

At NPR.org, you can read and listen to novelist Rick Moody’s appreciation of Salinger

The New Yorker’s website has Louis Menand’s 2001 essay “Holden at Fifty.” They’re also offering links to thirteen stories by Salinger (subscription required). 

Slate’s Stephen Metcalf calls Salinger “the great poet of post-traumatic stress.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 3, 2015
Demonstrators shout slogans during a rally organized by supporters of the YES vote for the upcoming referendum in front of the Greek Parliament in Athens, Tuesday, June 30, 2015 Greece's European creditors were assessing a last-minute proposal Athens made for a new two-year rescue deal, submitted just hours before the country's international bailout program expires and it loses access to billions of euros in funds. (AP)

Overtime pay. Diplomatic ties with Cuba. Greece defaults. Iran deadline missed. Chris Christie jumps in. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Jul 3, 2015
Harmonica master Howard Levy, in a photo dated February 2012. (Courtesy the Artist)

Harmonica virtuoso Howard Levy tears it up with us. From Bach to the blues.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jul 2, 2015
In this file photo, Judy Blume attends LA Times Festival of Books, Saturday, April. 21, 2012, at the USC Campus in Los Angeles.  (AP)

Beloved children’s author Judy Blume is writing for adults again – on disaster. Judy Blume joins us.

 
Jul 2, 2015
This file image taken from a militant website associated with Islamic State extremists, posted Saturday, May 23, 2015, purports to show a suicide bomber, with the Arabic bar below reading: "Urgent: The heroic martyr Abu Amer al-Najdi, the attacker of the (Shiite) temple in Qatif", which the Islamic State group's radio station claimed responsibility for.  (AP)

A big, provocative look at the sophisticated online efforts of ISIS to recruit and lure Westerners to their cause.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: July 3, 2015
Friday, Jul 3, 2015

We made a lot of last-minute programming changes these past few weeks, and you stuck around with us through it all. Thanks!

More »
Comment
 
Election 2016: Who Exactly Is Running For President?
Tuesday, Jun 30, 2015

Who is running for President, anyway? We attempt to help you figure it out.

More »
8 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: June 19, 2015
Friday, Jun 19, 2015

Why our broadcast changed in different markets this week, and a closer look at a puppet theatre vandalism in rural Norway. (Really).

More »
Comment