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just another normal person

April 3, 2009

[The Spectator] J.D. Salinger is in the kitchen when I turn the corner of his farmhouse, his reported deafness probably explaining why he doesn’t hear me until I am a few feet from him and ringing the doorbell. His wife correctly guesses the identity of the caller and, apprised of the information out of my hearing, the author shouts something that sounds like ‘Oh, no!’

It may be succinct but it is the most he has said to the media for years. A tall but stooped figure in a blue tanktop, Salinger won’t even look at me as he sidles crab-like out of his small kitchen with his back to the window. His wife soon appears at the same window and opens it to talk, but the great man — who was 90 in January — has gone. Time may soften many things, but Salinger’s complete disengagement from public life sadly isn’t one of them. (read)

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