Howard Zinn & J.D. Salinger

Two writers who have had a major impact on me have died in the past two days.  The Catcher in the Rye was one of those books that skewered my teen-age angst and hung it up to dry with everyone else’s teen-age angst.  I knew I wasn’t alone after meeting Holden Caulfield, and for that I am grateful to Salinger.

Reading Howard Zinn, hearing him speak, has helped me to relinquish the safety of silence and speak up (see his quote in my new Notable Quotable block)  — sometimes more easily and loudly than at other times.   Thank you, Howard Zinn, for sharing your recipe for trouble.

2 comments to Howard Zinn & J.D. Salinger

  • I almost posted about Salinger this same day, but didn’t. I remember reading Catcher in the Rye in high school. I am sure hundreds of writers would say the same thing, but it was the first book I ever read and thought, “If I could ever be a writer, I would want to write like this.” That book, and Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, were the two most impactful books on me wanting to be a writer. Which is a little ironic, b/c both of them are very “down” books. But the one thing they had in common is brutal, raw honesty. I admire that in a person, in a book and in a writer.

  • Nancy

    It’s interesting that Salinger kept on writing but ended up having NO interest in publishing anything after a while. Legend has it that there are a bunch of Salinger manuscripts (so I’ve read) in a safe in New Hampshire.

    Everything about Sylvia Plath is so sad I think.

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