He wrote The Catcher In The Rye.
Main character: Holden Caulfield, a 16-year-old NYC prep school boy.
(Whom my father referred to as "that smart-mouthed kid in Catcher in the Rye.")
I read the book when I was sixteen.
I can't really remember having a strong feeling about it.
I pushed myself through it, because I knew it was Literature, + it was supposed to be somewhat subversive.
Think at that age I was captivated by other types of stories -- what books did I like, then??
The Great Gatsby
To Kill A Mockingbird
...I don't know...plus, there were distractions.
Being 16 is about as much excitement as a person can stand.
"OMG" -- that year, sophomore / high school, a paperback which was supposed to be "a dirty book" got passed around between some of us girls: I actually found it more depressing than sexy -- after me, Classmate Q took it home, scanning it for "the good parts"...
her dad, who had a reputation as a loud drunk, among other things, found the book, (apparently found "the good parts" right away -- man must have been a genius! -- or speed-reader --), & demanded to know where "Q" got the book...
She named me, and her dad roared, "Well, I'd like to see her father preach a sermon on that !!"
Q & I laughed about that several times, since.
And back to Salinger.
After he had his "hit book" in 1951, he published very little else & became a recluse.
It was almost like he predicted the current shallow-and-insane celebrity culture, and decided to avoid it altogether.
I cannot imagine why he didn't publish more, as he certainly had the opportunity -- he must have had enough Money.
[From 1/29/10 New York Times]:
"Catcher" was published in 1951, and its very first sentence,
distantly echoing Mark Twain, struck a brash new note in American literature:
"If you really want to hear about it,
the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all
before they had me and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth."