Catcher in the Rye Author J.D. Salinger Dead at 91
J.D. Salinger has
at the age of 91. The reclusive author of The Catcher in the Rye was a controversial figure in his later years, refusing all interviews and claiming that he hasn't written a book since 1965. He died at his home, according to his literary agent. CNN reports:
The author died Wednesday of natural causes at his home in New Hampshire, according to a family statement that his literary agent, Phyllis Westberg, provided Thursday.
"Despite having broken his hip in May, his health had been excellent until a rather sudden decline after the new year," the statement said. "He was not in any pain before or at the time of his death."
Salinger has long been known for his reclusiveness, and "in keeping with his life long, uncompromising desire to protect and defend his privacy there will be no service," the statement said.
"The family asks that people's respect for him, his work, and his privacy be extended to them, individually and collectively, during this time."
Though he wrote more than 30 short stories and a handful of novellas -- many published in The New Yorker and collected in works such as "Nine Stories" and "Seymour: An Introduction" -- Salinger's fame rests on "Catcher," his only novel.
The book is narrated by a teenage boy, Holden Caulfield, who is expelled from a private school, Pencey Prep, in Pennsylvania, and spends the next three days wandering around New York. Caulfield is mistrustful of authority, railing against corrupt adults and "phonies," and plans to decamp for the west.
There are more than 60 million copies of his works in print.