Top Fall 2013 Biographies: #4 Salinger by David Shields and Shane Salerno

Fall 2013 has emerged as being quite rich in biographies, we’ve collected our top 6 picks, so far we’ve named:

#6 Wilson

#5 Jim Henson: The Biography

#4 Salinger by David Shields

salingersalingerEvery year a deceased author goes under the biographer’s spotlight. In 2011 it was Charles Dickens, and for 2013 it appears to be J. D. Salinger. Already this year a good deal of hype has surrounded the novel And Sons by David Gilbert, featuring a Salinger-style, reclusive author and his interactions with his jaded children. Now it’s time for the actual biography. A Simon & Schuster title coming out on September 3rd, the appropriately titled Salinger clocks in at 700+ pages. Co-authored by David Shields (The Thing About Life Is That One Day You’ll Be Dead) and director/producer Shane Salerno, the new book is part of a major Salinger-fest over the next couple of months. Salerno is wrote, directed, and produced the documentary film Salinger, which will get a theatrical release this fall and then premiere on PBS in the first half of 2014.

J. D. Salinger is famous for two things: 1) his novel The Catcher in the Rye and 2) being a recluse for the last fifty years of his life, still around but completely out of sight. Astoundingly no one ever penetrated the veil of secrecy. Only Harper Lee of To Kill a Mockingbird fame has managed to be both so beloved and elusive. Shields has certainly put in the work: He’s been working on Salinger for more than 8 years, and interviewed several hundred people around the world. New sources range from World War II era friends to contact in the modern era. Advertising for the book touts how much new information is exposed and that the curtain will finally be ripped away from his reclusive final years.

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