My Salinger Year

Joanna Rakoff. Knopf/Borzoi, $25.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-307-95800-6
Rakoff’s second book (after A Fortunate Age) is a reflective account of her experiences working in publishing during the mid-1990s, a time when key players in the industry were adjusting to many technological advancements, as well as a unique look at the often misunderstood J.D. Salinger. Having moved back to New York after earning a master’s at a London graduate school, Rakoff takes a low-paying secretarial job at a respected but old-fashioned literary agency (she wrote in a Slate article that it was Harold Ober Associates) that represented high-profile authors such as Judy Bloom and Salinger among others who remain unnamed. Ending her relationship with her “college boyfriend,” Rakoff rented a run-down apartment in the burgeoning but not-yet-gentrified Williamsburg with her new boyfriend, the anti-establishment Don, who spent his time working on his novel while she was away at the office. When an editor from a small press expressed interest in publishing one of Salinger’s minor and nearly forgotten stories, Rakoff began an ongoing correspondence with Salinger, and formed a tender connection with the man that prompted her to read his work, beginning a late-bloomer’s love of an elusive writer. This is a vibrant coming-of-age memoir that moves along with momentum and energy, and one only wishes Rakoff had spent more than one year with Salinger so we’d have an even fuller portrait of a man who was and is often misunderstood. (June)
Reviewed on: 02/24/2014
Release date: 06/03/2014
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-307-94798-7
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-1-4712-6689-8
Open Ebook - 149 pages - 978-0-307-95801-3
MP3 CD - 978-1-5113-8434-6
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