Some of the personal letters of iconic author J.D. Salinger, who died last month, will be on view for the first time at New York’s Morgan Library and Museum.
The letters were written to his Connecticut neighbor and friend Mike Mitchell, who was also the illustrator of the image on the cover (a carousel horse—fervent readers will immediately understand the allusion) of the first edition of Salinger’s “Catcher in the Rye.”
Although the library was given the letters more than 10 years ago, the decision to let the public view them was not made until after Salinger’s death on January 27. They deal with such seemingly mundane issues as parenthood and marriage, but also touch on writing, middle age, and issues with his publisher. They’re revealing because Salinger was so deeply private that not much is known about the everyday details of his life. (The letters were not previously put on view out of respect for his deep need for privacy.) One set of letters will be on view from March 16-April 11. A second set of letters goes on view from April 1-May 9.
Salinger was known as much for his reclusive behavior as he was for “Catcher in the Rye,” a novel that all but defined the coming-of-age story and is now rightly considered a classic. His other works include another classic, the dark “Nine Stories.”
The Morgan Library and Museum is at 225 Madison Avenue and 36th Street (212 685-0008.)
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