Posts Tagged ‘J. D. Salinger’
September 4, 2013 | by Shelley Salamensky
Last Sunday, a ninety-four-year-old man appeared outside my door. His name, he said in a deep German accent, was Werner Kleeman. He had come all the way up to Washington Heights from Queens to celebrate the birthday of his cousin down the hall. He was invited. He is certain of the date. But his cousin is not there.
Severely hard of hearing, with no cell phone nor ride home, Werner slumps in a folding chair a neighbor brought, marooned. When he rises, he sways woozily, perspiring in his dapper suit. My husband takes one look and gets the car. Once on the Cross-Bronx Expressway, Werner revives and tells the story of his life.
Born in Bavaria, he had been interned in a concentration camp. But he was able to produce a visa to the U.S., and, as was still possible then, at the start of the war, he was freed. He emigrated to New York, and then returned to fight the Nazis as an American soldier. Stateside, he made a modest living in a unique niche—hospital drapery. His wife passed away three decades ago. Since then, he’s lived alone. This trip is his first outing in weeks. “Now!” he chortles raucously as we near his street. “To my museum! You will not believe your eyes. I can show you things like you have never seen!”
Werner’s museum, it turns out, is a low-ceilinged, jumbled Flushing bungalow where he has resided for the last sixty-two years. He leads us through the cramped rooms, playing tour guide to a host of treasures: a dented spice box rescued from the desecrated synagogue in his native village; scenes by a famed sketch artist from the European front; a framed proclamation of honor for his self-published 2007 memoir, From Dachau to D-Day, signed by now-rival mayoral candidates John Liu and Christine Quinn.
As we try to say goodbye, Werner blocks our exit, brandishing a packaged coffee cake. “I have decided,” he announces, as if to himself. “Kind people, educated people. Yes. Why not?” He puts on water for tea, takes my hand, and draws me into a shaded back office from which he carefully withdraws a file. “You have heard,” he enquires, “of the writer J. D. Salinger? Letters from my friend Jerry.” We sit down. Read More »
August 26, 2013 | by Sadie Stein
July 11, 2013 | by Sadie Stein
June 17, 2013 | by Sadie Stein
May 17, 2013 | by The Paris Review
Even if you’ve been reading Janet Malcolm for years, the critical appreciations collected in Forty-one False Starts may surprise you. The title essay is (or pretends to be) a series of scrapped beginnings to her profile of the painter David Salle, a giant of the art world in vulnerable mid-career. If you want to write magazine prose, this alone should make you buy the book. Ranging from Bloomsbury to Edward Weston to J.D. Salinger, the entire book is full of stylistic daring, fine distinctions, and bold judgments set down at the speed of thought. —Lorin Stein
The Emperor’s Tomb was the last novel Joseph Roth wrote. Michael Hofmann, whose versions of Roth are all unsettlingly good—more like inhabitations than translations—calls it a “valedictory repertoire of Rothian tropes and characters”: Viennese cafés, feckless and frivolous young men, the call-up to war, the end of Empire, the never-ending nostalgia for Empire. If you’ve read Roth before, you’ll enjoy the new variations on old themes; if you haven’t read Roth, start with The Radetsky March. You won’t want it to end and when it does, reading The Emperor’s Tomb will bring it all back. —Robyn Creswell Read More »
April 25, 2013 | by Sadie Stein
- “You can’t go around buying Cadillacs on what the small mags pay, but that doesn’t really matter, does it?” A new cache of letters by young J. D. Salinger comes to light.
- Granta editor John Freeman is leaving the magazine to teach.
- Edward de Grazia, a lawyer and free-speech advocate who defended both Tropic of Cancer and Naked Lunch, has died at eighty-six.
- The strange mystery of the stolen books of Lambeth Palace.
- The Library of Congress (sort of) comes to terms with eBooks.