J. D. Salinger and the Nazis
Eberhard Alsen University of Wisconsin Press, 2018 Library of Congress PS3537.A426Z537 2018 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
Before J.D. Salinger became famous for his 1951 novel The Catcher in the Rye and infamous as a literary recluse, he was a soldier in World War II. While serving in the U.S. Army's Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) in Europe, Salinger wrote more than twenty short stories and returned home with a German war bride. Eberhard Alsen, through meticulous archival research and careful analysis of the literary record, corrects mistaken assumptions about the young writer's war years and their repercussions. Though recent biographies and films claim that Salinger regularly participated in combat, Alsen cites military documents showing that his counterintelligence work was well behind the front lines.
Alsen, a longtime Salinger scholar who witnessed the Nazi regime firsthand as a child in Germany, tracks Salinger's prewar experiences in the army, his work for the CIC during significant military campaigns, and his reactions to three military disasters that killed more than a thousand fellow soldiers in his Fourth Infantry Division. Alsen also identifies the Nazi death camp where Salinger saw mounds of recently burned bodies. Revealing details shed light on Salinger's outspoken disgust for American military leaders, the personality changes that others saw in him after the war, and his avoidance of topics related to the Holocaust.
Letters to J. D. Salinger
Edited by Chris Kubica and Will Hochman University of Wisconsin Press, 2014 Library of Congress PS3537.A426Z48 2002 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
Despite J. D. Salinger’s many silences—from the publication of The Catcher in the Rye to his absence from the public eye after 1965 to his death in 2010—the unforgettable characters of his novel and short stories continue to speak to generations of readers and writers. Letters to J. D. Salinger includes more than 150 personal letters addressed to Salinger from well-known writers, editors, critics, journalists, and other luminaries, as well as from students, teachers, and readers around the world, some of whom had just discovered Salinger for the first time. Their voices testify to the lasting impression Salinger’s ideas and emotions have made on so many diverse lives.