Friday, January 29, 2010

Thank you, J.D. Salinger

Like most of those who love the craft of writing and the joy of reading, I was saddened by the death of J.D. Salinger this week.

To the generations of students since the 1951 publication of his "Catcher in the Rye," he proved that not all classic literature was composed a century before their birth, that modern authors were deserving of study, that a gifted writer could create a character that could touch so many.

That teenage angst was universal.

His reclusiveness only added to the mystique.

We are all left with our interpretations of his works because he never dispelled any of our notions.

Salinger will live on in Holden Caulfield and Franny and Zooey.

He inspired many authors that followed. And while I have no doubt read and enjoyed some of those works, I think it's his inspiration of readers that may be more enduring.

This year thousands more students will be introduced to Caulfield. For many, he will be the first character in a required reading assignment they can identify with. And for some that revelation will spark a lifetime love of reading.

Thank you, Mr. Salinger.

- Tricia Ambrose

P.S., Jason, I'm going to guess he answer to your book summary is The Koran. I say that not because your clues were helpful, but because I know that is what you're currently reading.



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