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Getting over J.D. Salinger

Mary – “I’ve outgrown J.D. Salinger, and I don’t know where that leaves me.

I was 10 when my father handed me “The Catcher in the Rye,” and I found not just a voice for all the wild despair and sudden inexplicable elation of adolescence but an acknowledgement that these feelings did not occur in a vacuum. Salinger reached into the “vale of tears” catechism of my Irish Catholic upbringing and lifted me out by my hair — don’t listen, he said, they’re all phonies, just keep your eyes open for small moments of beauty, and you will find them between the lies and the obscenities.”

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