Salinger, J. D. Nine Stories. Boston: Little, Brown & Company, 1948.
Reason read: June is Short Story Month
Both short stories I read share a central theme of a soldier who is more comfortable conversing with a child than any adult.
“A Perfect Day for a Bananafish”
He is a soldier who strikes up a conversation with a young child on a Florida beach. The phone conversation his wife has with her mother early in the story indicates he is suicidal, although the reader doesn’t clearly see this until the end. For that reason, it is worth rereading. Clues become clearer with a second read.
Line I liked, “She was a girl who for a ringing phone dropped exactly nothing” (p 4).
“For Esme – with Love and Squalor”
He is a soldier who strikes up a conversation with a teenager in a restaurant. She is precocious and intelligent. Wise beyond her years. Through letters with Esme the soldier is able to cope with the squalor of war.
Author fact: Everyone knows Salinger penned Catcher in the Rye because everyone has read Catcher in the Rye. Right?
BookLust Twist: from More Book Lust in the chapter called “Good Things Come in Small Packages” (p 102).