Correction to This Article
The obituary for "Catcher in the Rye" author J.D. Salinger misstated the year in which a memoir by his daughter, Margaret Ann Salinger, was published. The book, "Dream Catcher," came out in 2000, not 2009.
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J.D. Salinger, 91; 'Catcher in the Rye' author became famous recluse

Celebrated author and enigmatic recluse's 1951 novel "The Catcher in the Rye" became an enduring anthem of adolescent angst and youthful rebellion and a classic of 20th-century American literature.

In 1948, Mr. Salinger achieved a measure of literary recognition with the publication in the New Yorker of three stories that would later be included in the collection "Nine Stories."

Other stories followed, including "For Esme -- With Love and Squalor," which appeared in the New Yorker. "For Esme" was said by critics to be the best of Mr. Salinger's short stories. It told of an American soldier and the 13-year-old English girl he met in a Devon tea room shortly before D-Day and how their unusual relationship later helped the soldier overcome the psychic damage of war.

While in the Army Mr. Salinger married a former member of the Nazi party named Sylvia, about whom little is known.

They were divorced shortly thereafter, and in later years, Mr. Salinger referred to her only as "Saliva."

Mr. Salinger also married and divorced Claire Douglas, the daughter of the British art critic Robert Langton Douglas. They had two children, Margaret and Matthew, both of whom survive. Later, he married a nurse several decades younger than he, Colleen O'Neill, who also survives.

In 2009, Margaret Salinger published a memoir, "Dream Catcher," in which she described her early life as the daughter of J.D. Salinger. He was an angry man, and he regularly belittled members of his family, she wrote. It seemed to her that he preferred the characters of his literature to the real human beings in his life.

"Unlike me . . . my fictional siblings were perfect, flawless, reflections of what my father liked," she said in the memoir.

In the seclusion of his New Hampshire home, she wrote, her father took walks, maintained an exotic health diet and wrote stories to be published only after he died. He had an unorthodox sense of humor, she recalled, and he liked to play jokes like putting water on his hand and then flicking it on the back of her neck while pretending to sneeze.

He was unable or unwilling to sustain close personal relations with anyone, she said: "His search . . . led him increasingly to relations in two dimensions: with his fictional Glass family, or with living 'pen pals' he met in letters, which lasted until meeting in person when the three-dimensional, flesh-and-blood presence of them would, with the inevitability of watching a classic tragedy unfold, invariably sow the seeds of the relationship's undoing."


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