Salinger remembered for lasting mark on American culture

J.D. Salinger has died.
J.D. Salinger has died. AP Photo

NEW YORK (AP) - J.D. Salinger is being remembered for the lasting mark he's left on American culture.

Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Chabon says he read Salinger's best known work, "The Catcher in the Rye," as a middle school student and found it "powerful and surprising." He says even in 1977, more than a quarter century after its publication, the book had "a recognizable authenticity" in its voice.

Salinger began publishing his stories in beginning in 1940. Holden Caufield, the rebellious teenage protagonist of "Catcher," first appeared in a 1944 story in the Saturday Evening Post.

The New Yorker ran Salinger's last published story, "Hapworth 16, 1928," in 1965. The magazine's current editor says the author left a permanent mark despite becoming a recluse decades ago. David Remnick says everyone currently working at The New Yorker "does so with a keen awareness of J.D. Salinger's voice."

Salinger lived out his life in a remote New Hampshire town. Humorist John Hodgman writes in a Web posting today that he doesn't like to believe the author has died, but prefers to think he's "just decided to become extra reclusive."

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