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J. D. Salinger: A Life by Kenneth Slawenski
In J. D. Salinger, Kenneth Slawenski examines what is known of J. D. Salinger's life. Not much is known of the reclusive writer's last forty years, but Slawenski brings to life the events that shaped Salinger in his early life. He was born into an affluent New York family, spent time at a military academy, wooed Oona O'Neill (who would marry Charlie Chaplin), and as an infantryman during World War II, he fought from the D-Day invasion through the defeat of Germany. Slawenski also explores the effects these experiences had on Salinger's fiction. J. D. Salinger has received mostly positive reviews with the London Times saying "The author quotes no letters directly and is very sparing of indirect quotation. He also restricts his use of Salingerís published work to what is generally considered to be 'fair usage' in a critical context. Yet the book suffers nothing from the enforced self-censorship. It is well written, energetic and magnificently researched; a true picture of Salinger emerges from its pages."