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There are 4916 letters to Salinger posted here and counting!
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Jan 25, 1998
8:51 PM

Dear J. D. Salinger,

Hello. I am an 18 year old high school student in Houston,Texas. I first read your

book when I was in the seventh grade. To say the least, it changed my life.

I can relate to Holden more than anyone else, and that''s including people that actually exist.

I guess I''ve always wondered if the story is autobiographical, but that''s really

none of my business.

I just wanted to let you know how much your work means to me-beyond Holden and The

Glass Family. You are truly inspiring.

Brittany Lauren behrens

Jan 24, 1998
6:10 PM

Dear J. D. Salinger, I am totally in love with you. Actually, it has been about a year

since I first read your writing (Catcher in the Rye in tenth grade), and I think I have gotten

over my crush, at least I''ve gotten over the kind of love that makes you not eat for days and

feel sick to your stomach and dream about the object of your affection all during algebra II

class. (Also, I found out that you are, like, really old, (compared to me, that is), and that

you are already married, and that I probably will never meet you, because you don''t like to

talk to people.) However, hopeless love is the most romantic of all; the most tragic, and

the most absurd, and maybe it will make you happy to know that somebody had a crush on

you. I don''t know why I feel this way. I love your books and your characters, but I

won''t pretend to understand them. All I know is that they seem to be a peephole of truth,

and when I read them, I feel an enigmatic sensation of yearning and happiness. Anyway, I

hope you have found truth, and I hope I find it too, and maybe we will meet someday, in

some other existence. Love, Lauren Trindle, age 17

Lauren Trindle

Jan 23, 1998
10:33 AM

Dear J. D. Salinger,

catcher in the rye is like real kewl and stuff :P


Jan 23, 1998
5:17 PM

Dear J. D. Salinger, I don''t really know what i want to say to you since i know what

a bore it is for you to read all these opinions about your works(as thought they are

worthy of being expressed). I became kind of sad reading some people''s quotes who

decided to "classify" some of your books as a "good" one or a "very good" one, as if

you should feel lucky that they''ve granted you such an honour.I just wanted to say

that I would be a fool to even try commenting on your works and so will anyone else,

because no one is worthy of doing that.

Lila J.

Jan 23, 1998
9:58 AM

Dear J. D. Salinger,

Who am I, you might ask, and I will answer.

I''m just a small Norwegian boy who happened to be in a Norwegian bookstore once,

looking for a novel that could improve my English. "Buy this one", the bookman said,

handing med a copy of "A Cathcer in the Rye". And so I did. A choice not to be


What is there to say about that book, that''s not been said before? It''s at great

book - I can not understand why Insane Chapman gunned down John Lennon, but I do

understand why he stood there, reading "A Catcher in the Rye", instead of running away

before the police came. Insane he is, but not without a taste for good literature.

I like "Nine Stories", but who doesn''t?

Start writing again, Salinger, and publish it! There''s noe reason for you to

become the American Agnar Mykle!


Lars H. Barstad

Jan 22, 1998
10:47 PM

Dear J. D. Salinger,

This letter is an apology to you sir, for this harassment that was hardly provoked. It''s

truly fascinating that individuals who deliver their sentiments with such articulation, such

as Matt Sachkiw, are the first to criticise your outstanding works. It indeed is a wonder

that you choose to stay in your home. On a happier note, you are the best writer I have

ever read, and your ability to recognize the flaws of American culture is comparable only to

that of Alexis de Tocqueville.

Thank you for sharing yourself with such an undeserving populace.



Jan 22, 1998
6:52 PM

Dear J. D. Salinger,

I hope I''m not assuming too much, when I say that I am speaking for my generation. I

know you must get a hundred letters a day from a hundred people claiming to be Holden

Caulfield. I am Holden Caulfield. We all are. That is why The Catcher in the Rye can

speak to everyone. That is why I''m asking you to give us an answer. Please. When I

read The Catcher in the Rye, I feel like this time I''m going to find the answer. But

everytime I finish, I''m further away. Please tell the most confused generation what to do.

Sorry for invading your privacy,

Daniel Jefferson Miller

Daniel Jefferson Miller

Jan 20, 1998
7:16 AM

Dear J. D. Salinger, i heard your a prisoner in the leavenworth prison, is this


Jan 19, 1998
1:09 AM

I dunno how many of you just come here to read and not post anything, but these are a

few questions the author of this page suggests you ask yourself as you write a letter to J.D.

What''s the difference (to you) between writing a public and a private letter to an "admiree?"

-Who the hell knows. There is no difference. A letter, is a letter, is a letter.

Why is it important to you to write rhetorical questions to JDS in such a letter (assuming,

as will be the case, Mr. Salinger will not respond)?

-Do I know?

Why is it important to you to correspond with someone who''s work you admire?

-It''s not important to me. I''m bored, it''s late, I can''t sleep.

How is your public response to Mr. Salinger and his work different when you write

directly to Mr. Salinger, versus discussing him/his work with


-In other words, do I say "You''re right, J.D. sucks" when I''m with my friends? You think

I''m a weak-minded, feeble, follower? Come on, give me some credit.

You want me to write a letter to J.D.? Fine.

Dear Mr. Salinger,

I''m here because I looked up your name on the internet (obviously), and I came across a

page where I could sumbit a letter to J.D. Salinger for a book that some moron is writing.

I''m not gonna pretend that I think you should come out of hiding. For all I know you''re a

self-serving arrogant prick and the reason you choose not to be part of society is cause you

don''t know how to be. On the other hand, maybe you''re not part of society because you''re

above it---somewhere, somehow, you''ve been given the gift of superior knowledge.

Perhaps it''s a curse, perhaps a blessing. Whatever the case may be, just keep on keepin''

on. Cool.

Leigh Emshey

Jan 18, 1998
1:24 PM

Dear J. D. Salinger,

Hi, my name is Kristan May. I just wanted to tell you that for my Junior Paper at my

private high school, wel have to pick a American author to write a term paper about. I

picked you. I love all the books and stories I have read so far. I think you have sucha great

tallent. Ok, well Ijust wanted to tell you that. I have to do research and read many of your

novels and short stories. Honestly you are a difficult person to find reasearch on. Ok, I

could go on to tall you what a fantastic writter you are, but I have to do my homework.



Kristan May

Jan 16, 1998
1:48 PM

To the Very Reclusive J.D. Salinger,

I usually don''t tell anyone about it. Hell, I never even told my damn parents. But,

you''re Salinger and I''ve read all your lousy works. So now I''m the author, no one is

gonna tell anyone anything, and that''s how the relationship is gonna be. I''m not big on

Freud. Some say that when you read Freud you end up finding out more problems about

yourself than you first started off with. I hate those phony doctors in those stark white

coats. They give out drugs like it was candy and they''re always trying to trick you into

telling them that you''re messed up. Even at the time when I got pretty run down I never

went to see any of those lousy shrinks. I don''t need to pay someone to call me a loony.

Yeah, I bet I know what you''re thinking now. You''re thinking I?m some a screwed up

wisecrack. Yet, judge not, good reader, lest ye be judged. If you were in my shoes I''m

sure you''d do the same. Well, I guess I''m ready now to tell you about a dusty repressed

corner of my dark mind.

"Goddamit, Mr. Schmidman! You heard me, I can''t face them! Honestly, I just can''t

freakin? look those poor bastards in the eye and tell them about their damned son!"

"Look Jonny, you know I would do it if I could. I really, really would, but I just can''t.

When all is said and done, you were the last one there with him before he took that s--t

(explicit)! Besides, those damn police also need to speak to you. I''d be much easier if you

just stopped acting like a bastard, cut those damned parents some freakin? slack, and tell

them what the hell happened to their damn kid!

Aaron Davis was a straight A student at the college near my old school. In high school

in Uptown Manhattan, he was a Westinghouse finalist and won a Presidential Scholarship.

That''s the kind of guy he was. He always knew how to manipulate things; he needed to

have control over his life. He was a son, a brother, and an uncle to his family, but, to me,

he was a close friend and my sparing partner at wrestling practice. He sure was a nut, that

old Ar?n only had three percent body-fat and he was far stronger than anyone else on the

team, let alone in the division. He was a real health-nut, and he?d always pay visits to the

doctor for a physical about every two days. He loved wrestling, and he even captained his

high school team as a junior. All of this sounds like something his obituary would say, but

that''s not a joke. The damn college paper dedicated four full pages to him and half the type

of things I just told you were included in it. Knowing that he liked to control himself, it

wouldn?t surprise anyone if they heard that he took steroids. I saw him shoot up a few

times before. He told me that if anyone ever found out about it he would personally

strangle me and then tear my lousy voice-box out of place. So, you can understand why I

was a little hesitant in telling anyone. Anyway, I?ll get to the story.

It all started the day after Yeshiva lost to Yale in a meet. Aaron was all pissed off about

it, but in retrospect I don?t think he was so damn upset about the loss to Yale. He was

probably more ticked off about hearing that his girlfriend, who he had been dating for three

years, got blown up on by an Arab bus bombing in Israel. He was real quiet and all. You

know, he didn?t even tell anyone about it. But, that isn?t all. A week before that he told me

about his last check-up with the doctor. One of those old phony bastards in a white coat

told him that he had pancreatic cancer. Sure, Aaron was a little scared, but the doctor

assured him that since he was so healthy and all the procedure would most definitely be

short, painless, and successful . You know, most people die when they get pancreatic

cancer. Hell, I bet if old Ar?n went through with that surgery he?d have made it out okay.

Yeah, he would have pulled through alright because that?s just the way he was.

People snap, and deep down Aaron was just an ordinary person. After practice, he

told me to come back to his dorm room. He said something about taking a vacation to

paradise. I really didn?t know what the hell he was talking about, but I told him he ought to

try Maui for his goddam spring break . When we went to the room, I sat on his roommate?s

hard bed and he was just sauntering around. All of a sudden, he spilt out his guts. He told

me that he just couldn?t take any of the damn crap anymore. He had it. I tried to get him to

calm down, but he jabbed me in the mouth and smashed my front tooth in. Nowadays,

that?s why I still wear braces, my teeth just didn?t set right after that. I was pretty shocked.

Hell, I wasn?t sure if I was gonna make it out of the room alive. Anyway, he pulled down a

small plastic bag from his top shelf, took out a small vial, and uncapped a syringe. I shot

up to get the needle away from him, but he punched me real hard in the stomach and I just

doubled over. He shoved the damn 3 cc syringe through the rubber layer of the serum

container and filled it all up with the steroid. What came next was the grossest thing I ever

saw. The big bastard rolled up his sweatpants to his thigh and lunged the damn syringe

right through his skin. Blood started to run down his leg. Aaron had hit a major blood

vessel, and I saw zillions of little red needle holes all over his outer thigh. The lousy

bastard went into anaphylactic shock and just passed out on the damn floor. Immediately, I

called 911 on his telephone. I watched the defeated champion for a few minutes and then

the police and an ambulance came. They tried to give him oxygen and then they had to rush

him out of the building. I didn?t think it looked to hot for the poor sonofabitch, he had been

passed out for too long. My mouth was bleeding all over the place. I was a little bit wired.

Shucks, I felt like I was floating through a surrealistic nightmare of Hell.

I really don?t know what happened to me the rest of that night, but as the hours

passed by I got pretty depressed. I took up smoking pretty heavily in the months

following. Yeah, there was a time when I almost couldn?t even walk and breath at the same

time. I quit wrestling and I even left that school to come back home to West Hartford. I

didn?t do this because of Aaron. Aaron?s memory would have been the only reason why I

would have stayed at that old blasted school . I would have wrestled for the college at

Aaron?s weight class in his honor. That''s the type of thing no one ever talks about

anymore. Honor. Coach said it was real bad luck to lose a sparing partner. So I decided not

to wrestle for the phantom that haunts the back of my mind. I run now. It?s kind of boring,

but it?s real good for your health. It?s kind of different from wrestling. In wrestling you

faced your opponent head on in a fight-to-the-finish-rage; in running you just run away and

leave everyone else behind you. I guess that?s sort of what I have done, and for that I?m

sorry Aaron.

But I''m not like your Holden Caulfield, Salinger. No, I honor tradition and I still seem

pretty responsible. I left my old school and I took up art. I got pretty damn good at it and I

was even was nominated for a scholastic art award. But, the best thing that''s happened to

me since I''ve come home is probably my learning how to write well. You wouldn''t believe

it but I just sort of learned how to write pretty recently. I read a lot of books and perused a

lot through the New York Times Book Review. Oh Damn You! I''ve read so many great

books,but I always come back to The Catcher in the Rye (that needs to be underlined). It

damn near takes my breath away everytime. Salinger, I even wrote about it in my college

essay. I wish I could tell you that I''d like a sequel, but I bet you''d probably fumble it up

and all. Hell, you''ve been away from the action too long. Yesterday, my damn English

teacher read the college essay. He''s usually real quiet after he reads unless it''s some

masterpiece. The only thing the old hag said was "Maybe you should write a book. I really

would enjoy reading it." I took my lousy paper from his hand and kind of said this in a

corny voice. "You''ll just have to wait and see. I''ll try it and it just might work, but most

likely I''ll end up failing with nothing to look backward to with pride and nothing to look

foward to with hope."




Jonathan Gelb

Jan 15, 1998
12:02 AM

Dear Mr. Salinger:

A million years from now, no one will care who Holden Caulfield was.

I hope you have found peace in your world of silence.

Will you find peace in the world to come?

You gave us The Catcher. I''d like to give you Matthew 26:16.

Noah Roberts

Jan 14, 1998
6:41 PM

Dear J. D. Salinger, I just recently finished reading your book Catcher In The Rye and

I felt that the book was rather interesting despite its profanity. I wish you would open up

to the public and disperse some information about your childhood, writing style,


Byron Hairston

Jan 14, 1998
4:06 PM

Yo Salinger

I just got reading your book "The Catcher In The Rye" in my ADV.English class at East

Waterloo High!My teacher is probably your biggest fan. He thought that we should read

the book. I heard from people at my school that hated the book and said that it was a waste

of time reading it. I and my class disagree with that, Because we all seem to have agreed

that it was awesome. Our final in the class is so easy because we have to write a couple

page essay on What we liked and didn''t like about the book by giving an out line of the

book and then using that outline to discuss our main points and our opinion of Holden. It

wasn''t very hard to do because I enjoyed reading it. I got it done in about 2 or 3 hours.

Thank You for writing the book And I''m looking for to reading more of your books.

Jason Parks

Jason Parks

Jan 13, 1998
10:05 AM

Dear J. D. Salinger,

I''m writing from Brazil. I was wondering if I could get your phone and call you just to say

talk with thw author of the most intelligent book I''ve ever read. I won''t write a lot. I''m

sure we can understand each other. And to end... I will do Catcher inn the Rye II... you''ll

see... someday...

Eduardo Jord?o

Jan 13, 1998
4:29 PM

Dear readers of J. D. Salinger,

Please stop this. I mean it. You''re beginning to sound like the goddam moonies fer

Chrissakes. Please, please stop telling Mr Salinger he is a genius etc. etc. He KNOWS

goddammit. Anybody with the goddam wisdom and foresight to write a book like "Franny

and Zooey" doesn''t need an army of drooling sycophants and book reviewers telling him

he''s the greatest living author on the planet. He WOULD know, wouldn''t he?

- maher from singapore

Jan 12, 1998
7:14 AM

Dear J. D. Salinger,

Is Holden him or me or us?

Pete Floman

Jan 12, 1998
2:08 PM

Dear J. D. Salinger,

I just wanted to tell you that your book "Catcher in The Rye" is the

best book that i have ever read in my life! It has made me think of

so many things that I would have never thought of. I have read it

about 5 or 6 times and every time it means something new to me. Thanx

for the insperation!

Kate Deyermond

Kate Deyermond

Jan 09, 1998
7:53 PM

Dear J. D. Salinger,

I have just recently finished reading "Shoeless Joe" by W.P. Kinsella for the second time

in 5 years. I was surprised to see the author that Kinsella characterizes is not Terrence

Mann (as in the movie "Field of Dreams"), but the author of my favorite novel, The

Catcher in the Rye. Apparently I missed that the first time I read the book. In "Shoeless

Joe", Kinsella has Salinger discussing his various reasons for not wanting (rightfully) to be

so engrossed in the public eye, and pleading to be left alone. At one point, he yells "I am

not Holden Caulfield!", as many people may have claimed him to be in the past. I thought it

was rather humerous the way Kinsella dispells myths about Mr. Salinger, while creating a

whole new set of them with his character. Kinsella shows in "Shoeless Joe" that just

because a person finds human society to be unworthy of his bother, he is neither a hermit

or a mentally questionable recluse. I myself have felt as both Salinger, Holden, and many

others have felt since the beginning of our society''s creation. Why waste my time with this

when there are so many other better ways to live my life? Why not quit my job and live in a

cave amongst the wild? Why not leave school and build a simple cabin in the woods? Not

many have had the courage to break the mold and the grip that society holds onto us so

tightly with. I admire Salinger for doing something that most only dream of. Thank you.



Jan 09, 1998
6:08 PM

Dear Mr. Salinger,

I won''t go into how your writing has changed my life, or how I aspire to be like you and

all that garbage like everyone else. I simply want to say "thakn you" for creating endless

hours of pleasure for me and others with your wonderful works of fiction.


Andrew Belonsky

Andrew Belonsky

Jan 06, 1998
2:27 PM

Dear J. D. Salinger, Do you watch the sunsets?


Jan 05, 1998
5:57 PM

Dear J. D. Salinger,

I read your book The Catcher in the Rye in summer before freshman year of High

School. I know that you''ll probally never read this but whatever. I thought that your book

was very interesting and very well written. Now I am reading it again for my English class.

I was very happy to find out that we were reading it, even though I already read it. My

favorite part in the whole book was in the end when Holden was explaining how he wanted

to be the catcher in the rye. It was not something that I predicted that I would be reading in

your book. Eveyone I talked to always says that they do not like Holden as a character but I

found him a very interesting character. He was the cynical one in the book, the one that

made the book get banned, but he was the best. I just wanted to say that and maybe you

will read this, who knows, if you did i would be very happy to know that.

Thank You, Liz


Jan 05, 1998
5:14 PM

Dear J. D. Salinger,

First of all, let me say "congrats" on the book. It was no small achievement

and don''t let anyone tell you different. Getting a book published is a big

deal. Way to go!!

Now, I would like to take the rest of this opportunity to discuss with you

another famous J.D. who has been influential in our society, and who has

left his mark on the minds and hearts of men and women all over the world.

I''m speaking of course of J.D. Hogg of the Hazard county Hoggs. Now most of us

know J.D. from his rather corrupt days as a Hazard polititian; but anyone

who new him as well as you did Mr. Salinger, remember him back in his lean,

mean, moonshine running days when he and Jesse Duke used to raise holy heck

up and down those county roads.

Well, enough of my trip down memory lane. It was a pleasure to coorespond with

you Mr. S. I''m going to go to sleep now. Until we speak again, keep on

straightening those curves and flatening them hills. Someday that mountain

might get us but the law never will.


Dave Mancini

Jan 05, 1998
8:41 AM

Dear Mr Salinger, I do not know you, but I know your writings. The knowledge that

there may be others who share my thoughts does not make things better but it gives me the

opportunity to say thank you and to know that I am not always talking to a blank wall.

John Ashley Driver

Jan 04, 1998
8:52 PM

Dear J. D. Salinger,

Twelve years ago you gave a bored, disinterested kid her first wonderful heady large dose

of angst. New eyes to see the world with. A new way to hear others. A sense of odd

kinship with everyone - phonies to saints. To you I would like to send the sound of one

hand clapping.

One more of these penpals from hell (but I just could not resist) - Jamie Morgan

Jamie Morgan