MY SALINGER YEAR is a poignant, keenly observed, and irresistible memoir about literary New York in the late ’90s, a pre-digital world on the cusp of vanishing, where a young woman finds herself swept into one of the last great stories and entangled with one of the last great figures of the century.
At 23, after leaving graduate school to pursue her dreams of becoming a poet, Joanna Rakoff moves to New York City and takes a job as assistant to the storied literary agent of J. D. Salinger. Precariously balanced between glamour and poverty, surrounded by titanic personalities, and struggling to trust her own artistic talent, Joanna is tasked with responding to Salinger’s voluminous fan mail. But as she reads the deeply candid letters from his fans, she finds herself abandoning the agency’s form letter and writing her own responses. Over the course of the year, she finds her own voice by acting as Salinger’s, on her own dangerous and wonderful terms.
“An intriguing look at the ever-fascinating Salinger and a gracefully incisive tale of love and literature, creativity and survival.”—Booklist (starred review)
“Honest, introspective, and completely compelling . . . Sure to appeal to readers who are obsessed with the enigmatic Salinger, but it is intended for those who have experienced (or are experiencing) their own bluesy, confused, post-college Salinger Year. Rakoff is a careful observer and endearingly human. Her coming-of-age story is a gentle reminder that we are all, still, coming of age.” —Library Journal
“Sharply observed . . . Engaging, particularly for its mastery of tone . . . Rakoff provides good company as she explores the mysteries of the literary world.” —Kirkus Reviews
“This is a vibrant coming-of-age memoir that moves along with momentum and energy, and one only wishes Rakoff had spent more than one year with Salinger so we’d have an even fuller portrait of a man who was and is often misunderstood.” —Publishers Weekly
We’re excited to share these two videos where Rakoff tells readers about her thrilling first job and inspiration for her new book.[youtube oOprjlRCZB4] [youtube _LDaNIixe4U]
Check out Joanna Rakoff’s Book Tour.
Follow Joanna on Twitter @jsmithrakoff