December 6, Saturday afternoon -- Reading J.D. Salinger

At a sunny table in the Mission District
Reading Nine Stories, by J.D. Salinger, a collection of stories that deal with World War II. A Perfect Day for Bananafish, the story she's reading aloud, is a story that she read in France with her grandmother, who was an English teacher. She's reading it again, here, with her boyfriend, who was assigned it as part of a writers workshop. They marveled on the book's accessibility, readability--he hopes that some day he'll write something as good as these stories.

One of her favorites --A Very Easy Death, by Simone de Beauvoir. It's powerful, she said. A lot of what Simone de Beauvoir writes, she explained, is difficult and philosophical, but this story, it's the author sharing a part of her life. It's about a four week period in which the author deals with her mother breaking her femur and needing to have a tumor removed from her intestine, and the mother's death. Everyone should read it, she recommended, before their mothers get so old.

If she were to write her own book, it would be about prisons and consciousness--the consciousness of prisoners and the free, inside and outside.

What books/authors have you found most accessible?


Special K said...

Oh, I love Salinger! Thanks for the tip on the S. d'B. book - I've always wanted to read her work.

Hmmm... one of my favorite accessible writers is Stephen Fry - he writes about fairly complex matters - love, homosexuality, adolescence, sex, art - in such a funny, witty, approachable way!

Oye, sitting at a cafe reading a book in December! I miss you, San Francisco!

Anonymous said...

There was a small article in today's Metro newspaper in Boston which I read on the train this morning about this blog posting under the headline "A Literal Connection". It certainly was a literal connection for me, if not a transcendental one, because just minutes before heading off to the train I had finished Nine Stories. Before that, i read (devoured) his other three books in series. All wonderful stuff. Glad to see others enjoying JD. I'm thinking of heading up to Cornish NH to seek out the old boy, if not his spirit.
Tom in Boston

Sonya said...

That is transcendental! Thanks for the heads up and thanks for checking out my blog.

All the best,

Special K,
San Francisco misses you, too!

berenice said...

rest in peace dear Salinger, he's gone but left us Holden Caulfield for an eternity....