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Jan 04, 1998
1:06 AM

Dear J. D. Salinger,

I''m a big admirer and also a writer. I penned the following

poem after I visited NYC for the first time and read THE CATCHER

IN THE RYE for about the twentieth time.

The poem is going to be published in ATOM MIND out of

Albuquerque with some of my other work this fall, so I thought I''d go

ahead and send it to toyou via this passageway into your secret world.

That''s kinda what the poem''s about, too; your secret world, that is.

Sometimes I like it, sometimes I don''t. What I mean to say

is that sometimes I feel like it takes a good pulse

and sometimes it feels like I grabbed some dead guy''s wrist by mistake.

Anyway, thanks for the all the good reading. Hope it''s been a good trip.


by Michael Hoerman

Holden taught us that everybody is fucked up

That innocence exists only in isolated pockets

That these are under seige

Most people are bumbling idiots

Incapable of finding happiness

Holden just wanted to see them smile

Michael Hoerman

Dec 31, 1997
4:04 AM

Dear J. D. Salinger,I despise hero-worship,I will not bore you with it.So briefly,a few

notes of appreciation.Unlike most people my Salinger reading began with Franny and

Zooey.I was both amused and horrified as I saw so many similarities between the

Seymour family and mine.

I read the Catcher while recovering from alcoholism.I feel perhaps the book

has been misunderstood by the critics and ''experts''.I see it clearly and plainly as a

zen fable .Truth is revealed to be relative and immediate,happiness and integrity

inseparable from ''ordinary''daily life.

Hope you are well and/or at peace with the choices you have made in


yours thankfully,

Lee Smith

Lee Smith

Dec 30, 1997
2:30 PM

Dear J. D. Salinger,

The Catcher in the Rye has to be a masterpiece of how children view the

world before stepping into adulthood. I know growing up is a big step to take

in life. In the Catcher in the Rye, you showed how young people frequently

try to escape the corruption of adult society.

Many times growing up, I recall the way that Holden viewed growing up

and dreamed of being a "catcher in the rye" to protect vulnerable children

from falling off a cliff. The cliff to me symbolizes the gap between childhood

and adulthood and in a wider sense, Holden saw that the gap between childhood

and adulthood is as dramatic as falling off a cliff.

I think it is a beautiful topic of how adult society brings about

corruptness to young children and Holden is portrayed as a "hero of the

world" in a sense because he wants to be a protector of children by shielding

them from the evil influences of the world.

Jessica Shin

Dec 28, 1997
7:23 PM

Hey you''ve changed my life....


Dec 27, 1997
11:30 AM

Dear J. D. Salinger,

Many years ago I read "The Catcher in the Rye" and at the time of reading it, I would have

never dreamt that one day I would be responding to this. I liked the book a lot; trying to

wonder why it would have been banned at one time. Today, everything is "open" to the

extent that the word "shocking" is really not in our vocabulary. I think it is important to

protect Mr. Salinger''s chosen private existence. I must say, I would love to have the

opportunity to sit down with Mr. Salinger just to chat but then again, I think many people

would like to do the same. All in all, I sincerely hope that Mr. Salinger is happy and I wish

him the very, very best!

Barry Wood

Barry Wood

Dec 26, 1997
10:59 PM

Dear J. D. Salinger,

Wow, I have wanted to write you a letter ever since I first picked up

a copy of THE CATCHER IN THE RYE in 1987 when I was in seventh grade.

I went on to write a book report on your amazing novel. My teacher,

whose name I have forgotten, told me that I was too young to be reading

such a novel and asked me to choose another.

Since then, and perhaps because of that incident, I have gone on to read

all of your published works and uncollected short stories. Your works

were the subject of my Undergraduate Thesis. The moments I have spent

researching or reading your works has been pure joy.

I must tell you before I end this letter, and have ALWAYS wanted to do so,

that you, above any other author I have ever read, possess the amazing

ability to perfectly capture in writing the spoken word. In your work

dialogue is not merely words printed on paper, but expression that speaks

directly to the reader as though Holden, Seymore or Phoebe were standing

just outside of the reader''s peripheral vison and talking on about the

things that matter to them.

I love reading your words, and thank you for the opportunity.

Sincerely yours,

Becky Burrichter

Becky Burrichter

Dec 23, 1997
1:36 AM

Dear Mr. Salinger,

i''m not going to waste your time nor mine by going on and on about what your work has

meant to me and all that sentimental mush. if it didn''t mean anything to me, i wouldn''t

have found this page, taken the time, etc. however, this letter is from a fan (obviously)

simply telling you that i understand why you went into seclusion (God knows, if i was in

your position, i would hide too) and i don''t blame you for it one bit. in fact, i admire you

more because it proves that you are writing for a CAUSE and NOT for money or "fame"

(pardon the vulgar word in quotations). i don''t think you should come out of your

seclusion, although i personally would love to read more of your works, because i feel that

you are happiest there and if you wanted to be elsewhere (i.e. in the limelight) you would

be. i believe that religioon is what you do after the sermon has ended... that you for

reinforcing that belief. your humble fan, leslie :)


Dec 23, 1997
2:51 AM

Dear J. D. Salinger,

Your book "The Catcher in the Rye" has become a sort of second Bible in my life. I

am a senior in highschool, and I first read the book when my cousin, David, recommended

it to me the summer before my freshman year. Growing up, I had plenty of friends, yet I

felt desparately lonely at times. It wasn''t that I wanted to be popular. I just suffered from

manic deppression and a low self esteem. I nearly never speak in class, except when I feel

passionate about something. My peers are always encouraging me to speak up more often,

and that they are highly interested in what I have to say, but, again, I have a low self

esteem. I spent much of my teenage years searching for answers, inspiration, and security.

I found all this from Jack Kerouac(Dharma Bums), Russell Banks("Rule of the Bone"),

Jazz, Blues, Punk Rock, Acid Rock(Pink Floyd), and so much more. I also spent a lot of

time going to punk shows. For 6 to 8 dollars, I could see 4 bands. Not only that, but the

band members would walk around and talk with the fans after their band had played. It was

so unreal to shake hands and converse with people I highly respected. These weren''t the

rock star sellouts that I deeply hated, and, to me, a handshake and a few minutes to talk

was worth more than a superficial autograph could ever be. I respect punk rock because

they were so intensly against major labels, selling out, and MTV. It felt good to know that

my 6 to 8 dollars was going to support an underground scene that was struggling to

maintain non-corporate standards. Now here comes the part where you might call me a

sellout and/or a hypocrite. I plan on going to film school to write screenplays for movies. I

know what you''re thinking, that I''m going "to Hollywood to become a prostitute", but I''m

really not like that(at least I seriously pray that I''m not). I am inspired by movies such as

"Clerks", "Chasing Amy", "Dead Man Walking", "Stand By Me", "Trainspotting",

"Destiny Turns on the Radio", "Pump Up the Volume", "The Breakfast Club", "Platoon",

and so much more. I guess what I''m trying to say, is I like movies that have something to

say, and I believe a good movie has a plot that revolves around more than just millions of

dollars in special effects. Anyway, I loved your short story, "A Great Day for Banana

fish". Your technique in this story continues to amaze me. I may be wrong, but it seems

like you tried to make the whole story slightly dull and slow(much like real life is like),

only to shock the reader with the suicide in the end. To me, this is saying that even

seemingly well adjusted people can be seriously deppressed and/or suicidal. This story

moves me, because a friend of mine committed suicide after killing his girl friend. He was

the last person in the world I would have suspected of suicide let alone murder. Anothere

story I loved was "Franny and Zooey". I can relate, because, my two sisters and I often

break into arguements when trying to have civil/peaceful conversations. Sibling relations

are better these days, but "Franny and Zooey" will always be a part of my heart and soul."

I won''t wish you "good luck", but I do hope you find that peace of mind that we are all

searching for.

Gene Woo

Dec 21, 1997
7:09 PM

Dear J. D. Salinger,

Where on this goddamn sphere are you?

James Galbraith

Dec 18, 1997
10:50 PM

Dear J. D. Salinger,

As a Brazilian journalist, I''m sure I''ll never get a chance to talk to you. I know you hate the

press, and I''m certain I can understand why. You''ll be even more horrified when you learn

that I work for that kind of magazine that buys pictures from paparazzi, and all I have to

say in my defense is that journalism can be a kind of art, when you try to try to be fair and

inform people, but it can also be a nasty path to let people invade the lives of those who

create and communicate and would love to be left alone. I hope that in the next life I can be

allowed to be born in a nicer world, and feel better when I have to introduce myself to

someone that I really admire and am proud to say that have inspired me for life. I''m sorry.

But I

ana l?cia ribeiro

Dec 17, 1997
3:52 PM

Dear J. D. Salinger,

My name is Andrew Matlack and I am seventeen years old. I read your book "The

Catcher in the Rye" with little understanding in the seventh grade. I picked it up again last

year with a slight recollection of a character who seemed to be going through many of the

same things I was. You see I went through a period in which everything about my life

seemed superficial or "phony." I was disgusted by the way my friends lived their

mundane, uncaring lives without any desire to understand or think about anything above

their daily routine. I took this shallow approach to life as a form of apathy because that

which they cared about had no meaning at all.

After successfully alienating myself from them I began to feel isolated and alone. I

questioned the value I put in such things as preserving innocence and understanding and

sympathizing with others'' pain. Feeling alone in my disillusionment I began to absorb

myself in what I found to be meaningful forms of media. I read Hemmingway, Conrad,

Kerouak, and many others; I listened to Coltrane, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Bob Dylan,

and most of all Van Morrison; and then I began researching all forms of world religions.

Finally I found someone who I could empathize with. No, actually, more than that. I didn''t

empathize with Holden, I was Holden. The only difference between us is that I, for the

most part, kept my emotions inside. Also, the only self destructive behavior I really

manifested was when I alienated myself from my friends. Your work was my guiding

light. By righting it you showed me that their was someone out their that cared about life,

that cared about humanity. While Holden may appear apathetic to some readers, I found

him to be enlightened to what really matters in life. Finally, here was someone that wasn''t

"so determined to not feel anyone else''s pain," (Van Morrison). His sympathy and his

concern were for the poor plight of the young prostitute, for the outcast at school who

stood up for himself and paid the price, and most of all for the innocence of youth which is

corrupted daily in a more world growing more harsh as I write. Holden was the inspiration

I needed to go on with the same convictions that I had begun to doubt. My friends have

grown and now understand the importance of the things that really matter in life and I can

honestly say your novel had an impact on their realization, through me and in their own

readings. The character you created, Mr. Salinger, is not only a reaffirming reflection of

myself but also my Buddha, so to speak. Holden is a model of the morals and values I

would like to hold and live my everyday life with, Sincerely

Andrew Matlack

Andrew Matlack

Dec 15, 1997
2:10 PM

Dear J. D. Salinger,

I have read your novel in my honors and AP english classes. Now I am assigned to

do a

featured author report. The author must be of literary merit and have written

between 1800''s to the present. Being that you are a good writer and interesting, you are

my author. Here''s the problem:

All I can find out is when you published your works and you are a hermit.

That doesn''t help me when I need to keep my A in my english class. I have been working

on this for a week now and the project is due tomorrow. I will probably get a C and

intern it will affect my grade in the class.

I have scavengered through various sources including the net. I use the net as a

last resource because " books will never be outdated" ( Mr. Ira Simonds).

Thank you for nothing. I don''t even like your only notable book Catcher in the


It is too bleak and DEPRESSING.


K.Y. Courtial and J.L. Johnson

K.Y. Courtial

Dec 13, 1997
12:23 AM

Dear J. D. Salinger, I am a Junior at Highland sr. high in St.Paul, MN and I would

just like

to say that I have read the other posted letters and found that the majority of writers have

written only about

"Catcher in the Rye." Well I too have read it and loved it, and it has had an impact on me,

but my personal

favorite would have to be "Franny and Zooey" because it presents itself as a very

mysterious book

and it doesn''t follow the normal guidlines of a fictional book. I would truly

classify you as a great american writer.

Second , I would just like to say that your life interests me not so much as some of the

other writers, but because you''ve

managed to keep yourself hidden or out of the spotlight for so long one can only wonder

how you do it. Finally,

just go on being the same person you always were and don''t let any of this have an effect

on your life

because that might just change your style of writing and as a "fan" of yours I wouldn''t

want that to happen



Janell Johnson

Dec 13, 1997
12:21 AM

Dear J. D. Salinger, I am a Junior at Highland sr. high in St.Paul, MN and I would

just like

to say that I have read the other posted letters and found that the majority of writers have

written only about

"Catcher in the Rye." Well I too have read it and loved it, and it has had an impact on me,

but my personal

favorite would have to be "Franny and Zooey" because it presents itself as a very

mysterious book

and it doesn''t follow the normal guidlines of a fictional book. I would truly

classify you as a great american writer.

Second , I would just like to say that your life interests me not so much as some of the

other writers, but because you''ve

managed to keep yourself hidden or out of the spotlight for so long one can only wonder

how you do it. Finally,

just go on being the same person you always were and don''t let any of this have an effect

on your life

because that might just change your style of writing and as a "fan" of yours I wouldn''t

want that to happen



Janell Johnson

Dec 10, 1997
7:02 AM

Dear J. D. Salinger,

I hanent`t read many of your books, but when I read "The catcher in the rye" I was

stunned! I read quite a lot of books, but this one was really special. It`s a real pity that

you have decided not to publish anything more of your work. I`m on my way to get a hold

on "Nine stories"to read more written by you. If there was anything I could do to make

you share more of your work, I would for sure have done it. No other writer has given me

such a pleasure reading. Thank you for having published what you after all have

made available.

A new fan,

Trine B. Nerg?rd

Trine Blix Nerg?rd

Dec 08, 1997
12:39 PM

Dear J. D. Salinger,

I love you! You are the best author on the face of the earth. I have

read and reread your books ever since sixth grade. Now, I am an eighth

grader at a small parochial school in Baltimore, Maryland, and I carry your

books around like Franny with The Ways of a Pilgrim.

It is an honor to be writing to you. Upon discovering you, my dream has

been to somehow interact with you or even meet you.

I want to write, Mr. Salinger, but I would be discouraged knowing that

there would always be someone more adroit with the pen than I. Please, if

you can find time in your schedule and occurances in your family (Matthew,

your wife, and any new additions...) scrawl a few words of wisdom on a

crumpled reciept, and mail it to

Clara Magram

3611 Gardenview Road

Baltimore, MD 21208

Thank you so much.

Keep up the good work,

Clara Magram

Clara Magram

Dec 08, 1997
3:01 AM

Dear J. D. Salinger,

Did you have a certain scheme in mind when naming your characters for "Catcher in the


For example, Is Holen''s name really a spinoff from the actors William Holden and Joan



Dec 08, 1997
11:14 AM

Dear J. D. Salinger, I will study of the reason for Seymour Glass''s suicide. What I

intend to do is to examine JDS''s other works that belong to the "Saga of Glasa family" in

order to find a clue to the reason for Seymour''s death,

Fumi Hatakeyama

Dec 07, 1997
9:30 PM

Dear J. D. Salinger,

Mr. Salinger I would just like to personally thank for writing The Catcher in the Rye. It is

my favorite book. I first read it in 1993, while I was in the eleventh grade. I have read it

every year since and everytime I do I get more and more out of it. I think it is fascinating

how Holden tries so hard to hang on to his childhood and wants to be The Catcher in the

Rye just like the song says. I am now a senior in college and I look forward to reading and

sharing this book for years to come. I also want to say that I really admire your courage to

not let this masterpiece get corrupted in the movies. Most of the time, when a book is made

into a movie, it is nothing like the author or reader pictured it. I admire your ability to stay

so secretive all these years and although I know you will probably never get this letter, I

wish you would come out and let the world get to know more about J. D. Salinger. I have

read that interview you gave to the boy who hiked all the way to see you while on spring

break and I know how privacy is important to you. However, I think this book is one of

the best ever written and you should enjoy all the rewards that other authors receive. Again,

thanks for writing this brilliant book and as much as I would like to go on, I will leave you


Bo Bello

Dec 07, 1997
7:59 PM

Dear J. D. Salinger,

I''m a junior at Richland High School in Richland, WA. My English class has this author

project, which is a full year project. Everyone has a different author to research. So, I

thought I might write a letter to you asking for some useful information. I''ve been reading

your book with nine short stories, and I would like to know if you have another short story

available on the Net. My 2nd quarter requirements tell me to read at least 10 stories by my

author. I''m having some trouble finding another story published by you. It would be

helpful if you put one of your stories on a Web page. Also, this quarter, I need to research

some critiques about your writing. I can easily find some in my school library. But if you

could provide me with some analytical details on your works, it would be very useful.

That''s all for now. Thank you for your time.

Sean Adhikari

Dec 06, 1997
12:15 AM

Mr. Salinger,

Thank you.

-Bradley A. Johnson

Bradley A. Johnson

Dec 05, 1997
1:30 AM

Dear J. D. Salinger,

My name is Joshua Hrabosky, and I am a freshman psychology major at Quinnipiac

College, in Hamden, CT.

I have been a long time fan of your work, and am looking forward to, at some time,

obtaining Hapworth 16, 1924. I would love to tell you that I feel that I am Holden

Caulfield inside, but I am not. I truly respect your work, and I am glad to say that

nobody could ever write with such articulation and criticism of society as you do in

your work.

Approximately three years ago, my mother handed to me some book called The Catcher In

The Rye and pushed me to give it a chance and read it. She later gave me two other

books called Franny and Zooey, and Nine Stories. I could not tell you if they truly

changed my life or not, but I have never felt the way about a book as I did about those

three books (and then later Raise High The Roof Beams...). I brought all four books

with me to college, and at times, when I am sick of everything around me, I sit down

with just one of those books and start reading from the beginning again. I also enjoy

the odor each book possesses, for all carry an old dusty, musky scent due to time well

spent on my mother''s book case. I read those books as much as I can, because they all

give me a sense of being real. I can never figure out what possessed you to write such

stories as you did; most likely, nobody will ever truly understand your reasoning behind

what you write. There are things people should never completely understand; about you

or any other individual who must strive to understand themselves. It''s for this reasion

that people should never completely know you, not only as (excuse the expression) a


or as a "normal" human being (aren''t we all a bit atypical?).

There are times when I sit alone with a cigarette in my right hand, and nothing but my


in the other. It''s at those times that I truly feel like a J.D. Salinger character.

All I can say is that I wish you the best of luck in life. This path that just leads

us on to possible better places could not be worse then where we are now. Thank you.

Yours Truly,

Joshua Hrabosky

Joshua I. Hrabosky

Dec 03, 1997
3:27 PM

Dear J. D. Salinger,

I was told that you keep yourself from the rest of the world. That you have written

books and are not going to publish them until after you die. I have heard wierd stories

about you and I was just wondering if they are true. I am presently doing a report on you.

I love the book Catcher in the Rye, it is one of the few books that I actually loved to read in

school. If you could, could you help me on my report. I would like to know how your

schooling and life affected your writings. I would appreciate this if you could help me

out. thank you

Eileen Russell

Dec 02, 1997
11:07 PM

Dear Mr. Salinger,

I just wanted to say hello. Its seems that many people make a fuss over you these

days. In a socitey where we ususally can chew up and spit out many talented people with

brevity your name or mystique has survived. I know it has everything to do with the fact

that you deny people entracne into the privacies of your life when most are so eager to

share then. Its makes you an oddity. Whether you did it for spiritual reasons, personal

reasons or you were just plainly sick of people I think you have a right to your privacy.

Although I have enjoyed your writings I also believe it is your choice as to what you may

do. If you ever decide to publish again then I am sure I will read it. Not because its the

reemergance or J.D. Salinger but becuase I will probably enjoy it : )

enjoy new hampshire!

Michael Lahey

Michael Lahey

Dec 02, 1997
8:12 PM


Well, I''m curious about whether or not you have personally studied zen. Also, your

work is something that I can relate to and that is what makes it so appealing. It''s not like

that other "literature" they force us to read in school. Your writing is a repreve from

everything else. I recommend it to people that don''t like to read because it''s not really like

reading, more fun, if anything. I''m thankful for writing like yours.