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July 09, 2009

Meeting Salinger

Ever since The Catcher in the Rye was first released 58 years ago, it has captivated readers. But Salinger has also been very protective of his work. In fact just last month, at the age of 90, Salinger won a court case to ban the U.S. publication of a new book that attempts to continue to story of Holden Caulfield.

Jim Sadwith was a boarding school student in the 1960s when he first read The Catcher in the Rye. He immediately saw himself in the character of Holden Caulfield. Jim's dream had been to become an actor, and now his dream was to play Holden Caulfield. So he wrote a play from the writing of The Catcher in the Rye—and he set out to find the reclusive J.D. Salinger to get his permission to perform it. He finally found Salinger. Jim was devastated when Salinger refused permission, but elated at having met the man. He talks with Dick Gordon about what it meant to him to meet J.D. Salinger and why he decided to perform his play, even against the author's wishes.

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