JD Salinger

I just got word that author JD Salinger passed away today. He was 91 years old. Salinger was best known (at least to me) for his work Catcher In the Rye, which was released by 1951 and was read by me in 1996. I was a high school junior that found great resonance with the main character in the book, Holden Caulfield. It could be his success as an author or just the fact that he held more in common with his characters than we’ll ever know, but Salinger spent his last years living in isolation. We haven’t heard much from him lately, though I would guess that Catcher will carry a cultural significance for at least a few more generations.

I’m writing this post to appreciate two people, actually. I would have no idea — none whatsoever — if it wasn’t for my “Modern Novel” teacher at John Glenn High School in Westland, MI, Lynn LeBlanc. The man knew a lot about literature but knew even more about how to crack open a young mind and make it stick. Between Mr. LeBlanc and Gordon Parrington, biology teacher extraordinaire who taught me that getting a “C” is OK as long as you learned something, I had some pretty outstanding teachers. I appreciate this from time to time and especially at times like these, where a major player in the modern writing world has passed, and I “get it” because someone decided to teach.

Thanks.

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