Farewell to the man today's New York Times obituary calls "the Garbo of letters." J.D. Salinger, author of The Catcher in the Rye, weird dad and litigious recluse, has died of natural causes in his Cornish, New Hampshire, home. He was 91.
One of Salinger's early, still uncollected short stories saw its first publication in the University of Kansas City Review, a literary journal that existed during a formative moment of mid-20th-century American fiction. The writer had sent one of his first pieces, "Go See Eddie," to Story magazine and Esquire; both rejected it before Review printed it in its December 1940 issue. According to the Salinger site deadcaulfields.com, the story was then forgotten for almost a quarter-century.
In an early indicator of Salinger's fascination with family, "Eddie" zeroes in on a brother-sister relationship. The dialogue-intensive sketch includes this exchange:
Helen stood up and watched him put on his polo coat.
"Go see Eddie," Bobby said, putting on his pigskin gloves. "Hear me?" He buttoned his overcoat. "I'll give you a ring soon."
Helen chided, "Oh, you'll give me a ring soon! When? The fourth of July?"
"No. Soon. I've been busy as hell lately. Where's my hat? Oh, I didn't have one."
Read all of it here.