Letters reveal JD Salinger’s warm, affectionate side

Thursday, January 27, 2011

WASHINGTON - JD Salinger had a warm, affectionate side, according to correspondence from the “reclusive” American author.

The writer, best known for his novel The Catcher In The Rye, passes away last year aged 91.

The children of Donald Hartog gave the collection of four handwritten postcards and 50 typed letters dating from October 1986 to January 2002 to the University of East Anglia.

Londoner Hartog, who died in 2007, met Salinger in 1937 when they were both teenagers and sent by their fathers to learn German in Vienna.

The pair kept in touch following their return home until the 1950s, and struck up communications again when Hartog, a food importer and exporter, wrote to Salinger in 1986.

Professor of American Studies Chris Bigsby said the letters gave an insight into someone who was the subject of controversy.

“Salinger had this reputation as a recluse, that he kept himself to himself. This is another Salinger. This is an ordinary Salinger, not the reclusive, angry person people thought he was,” the Scotsman quoted Bigsby as saying.

Hartog’s daughter, Frances, said the steady flow of letters revealed the author’s humour and friendship.

She said: “There is tremendous warmth and affection towards my father and this is so different to the man Salinger is often portrayed as.” (ANI)

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