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Letters to J. D. Salinger (the book) commemorates the 50th anniversary of The Catcher in the Rye and celebrates the formative influence the book and Salinger’s other works have had on many writers, scholars and readers.

Letters to Salinger contains approximately 80 open letters to J. D. Salinger. Included are letters by Lee K. Abbott, Marvin Bell, Frederick Busch, Julie Checkoway, Don De Grazia, Nicholas Delbanco, Harlan Ellison, Barry Gifford, Herbert Gold, Rachel Hadas, Jim Harrison, David Haynes, Robin Hemley, W. P. Kinsella, Cris Mazza, Erin McGraw, Robert O’Connor, Stewart O’Nan, Chris Offutt, Ellis Paul, Molly Peacock, George Plimpton, Tom Robbins, Gerald Rosen, David Shields, Barry Silesky, Joseph Skibell, Melanie Rae Thon and Jessica Treadway. Many other writers, scholars and readers have expressed their personal thoughts as well.

Letters to J. D. Salinger provides a diverse perspective on the effects of Salinger's work—some letters reflect on the ways Salinger has influenced us, some consider his literary thumbprint and some speak to how Salinger has influenced society and become an enduring element in our culture. We saught letters that best “spoke” to Salinger and his readers.

This collection illustrates the ongoing beauty of Salinger’s fiction and its ability to inspire readers, and will hopefully provoke consideration of Salinger’s work in creative and critical directions.

Here are only some of the questions authors address in their letters:

The book will be published in Spring 2002 by The University of Wisconsin Press.

Click here to read about the book's editors.