J. D. Salinger

Genre: Biography

J. D. SalingerThe Escape Artist

Performed by:
Grover Gardner

A spirited, deeply personal inquiry into the near-mythic life and canonical work of J. D. Salinger by a writer known for his sensitivity to the Manhattan culture that was Salinger's great theme. Three years after his death at ninety-one, J.D. Salinger remains our most mythic writer. The Catcher in the Rye (1951) became an American classic, and he was for a long time the writer for The New Yorker. Franny and Zooey and Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters introduced, by way of the Glass family, a new type in contemporary literature: the introspective, voluble cast of characters whose stage is the Upper East Side of New York. But fame proved a burden, and in 1953 Salinger fled to New Hampshire, spending the next half century in isolation.Beller has followed his subject's trail, from his Park Avenue childhood to his final refuge, barnstorming across New England to visit various Salinger shrines, interviewing just about everyone alive who ever knew Salinger. The result is a quest biography in the tradition of Geoff Dyer's Out of Sheer Rage, a book as much about the biographer as about the subject-two vivid, entertaining stories in one.

Unabridged recording:
Run time: 4 hours
Media Options:
  • Retail Trade: CD, Download, MP3-CD
  • Library Editions: CD

Show more information about contributors
Thomas Beller

Thomas Beller is the author of Seduction Theory, The Sleep-Over Artist, and How to Be a Man. He cofounded and for twenty years edited the literary journal Open City. He has worked as a staff writer for The New Yorker and the Cambodia Daily, and contributes regularly to Travel + Leisure and The New Yorker’s Culture Desk. He is an assistant professor at Tulane University and lives in New Orleans with his wife and two children.
Grover Gardner

Grover Gardner is an award-winning narrator with over 750 titles to his credit. Winner of 28 Earphones Awards and two Audies, he is an AudioFile Magazine 'Golden Voice' and was named 'Narrator of the Year' by Publishers Weekly in 2005.

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