90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
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
Mar 30, 2015
A stele and flowers laid in memory of the victims are placed in the area where the Germanwings jetliner crashed in the French Alps, in Le Vernet, France, Friday, March 27, 2015. The crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 into an Alpine mountain, which killed all 150 people aboard, has raised questions about the mental state of the co-pilot. (AP)

The pilot who crashed his plane in the Alps. What we know now. And what to do about pilots’ psychological health.

Mar 30, 2015
Sweet Briar College, an all-women's liberal arts college in Virginia, announced in early 2015 that it would unexpectedly close its doors at the end of the school year. (Courtesy Sweet Brian College)

Fareed Zakaria weighs the value of a liberal arts education in our technology-driven time.

RECENT
SHOWS
Mar 27, 2015
Members of  a November Project 'tribe' pause during a November 2014 workout. (Brogan Graham / Instagram)

Spring training. From easy-access yoga to outdoor exercise meet-ups, exercise plans you’ll want to do.

 
Mar 27, 2015
Rescue workers work on debris of the Germanwings jet at the crash site near Seyne-les-Alpes, France, Thursday, March 26, 2015. The co-pilot of the Germanwings jet barricaded himself in the cockpit and “intentionally” rammed the plane full speed into the French Alps, ignoring the captain’s frantic pounding on the cockpit door and the screams of terror from passengers, a prosecutor said Thursday. (AP)

The co-pilot and the plane in the Alps? Ted Cruz announces 2016 bid. Heinz buys Kraft. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: March 27, 2015
Friday, Mar 27, 2015

More on the incessant email debate, plus some goats living their best lives and the sad allure of Manhattan’s shuttered Pommes Frites.

More »
Comment
 
Mobile Payments Offer Convenience If You Keep Your Email Safe
Thursday, Mar 26, 2015

Thinking about moving your wallet to your phone? You can! And maybe you should? But TechCrunch senior writer Josh Constine has a few things to tell you before you do.

More »
1 Comment
 
Using Technology To Get Your Kids Outside
Thursday, Mar 26, 2015

The latest and greatest — using apps to make natural exploration more fun for your kids.

More »
Comment