His son said he died of natural causes in the home he virtually never left
J.D. Salinger, the famously reclusive author of "The Catcher in the Rye," has died. He was 91.
Salinger died of natural causes at his home in Cornish, N.H., on Wednesday, his son said in a statement through Salinger’s literary representative, Harold Ober Agency.
"Catcher," which introduced the world to the angsty teen anti-hero Holden Caulfield, has sold more than 60 million copies worldwide since it came out in 1951.
Six decades later, the sharp-witted but attention-deficient Caulfield, ever impatient with "phonies" and not content to suffer social norms, remains one of the most beloved literary characters of all time. His account, given from a mental facility, details a madness spiral that is fueled almost entirely by an inherent distaste for authority and the cultural constraints of adulthood, making Caulfield a hero to each generation of youth that — irony of ironies — almost inevitably discovers him within the American literary curriculum.
But at some point, Salinger’s hate of fame became his other claim to it — he rarely left his small, out-of-the-way home, shunning offers from the likes of Steven Spielberg and Harvey Weinstein to turn his book into a film, almost never granting interviews, and litigating against attempts to extrapolate on his works or pull back the curtain on his life.
It was rumored that he spent decades writing — but only for his own pleasure, he insisted, never for consumption by the legions of fans who were left with mostly scraps: the collection "Nine Stories," the novel "Franny and Zooey," and precious little else.
Whether Salinger’s estate will release his works is almost assuredly reliant on the author’s wishes.
In other words, don’t count on it.
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