The wires are reporting that J.D. Salinger died at 91. The ultra-reclusive author—a Jew who grew up in Manhattan—published only four books in his lifetime: one novel, The Catcher in the Rye; one story collection, Nine Stories; and two collections of two novellas each, Franny and Zooey and Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction. The Glass family, which featured in many of his stories, was half-Irish, half-Jewish; so were the Salingers, though, according to Wikipedia, his mother passed as Jewish (without converting) and J.D. himself had a bar mitzvah.
Though we can be sad for his passing, in another sense this is actually potentially exciting news. Salinger has not published a book since 1963; the last thing of any kind he published, a story, appeared in The New Yorker in 1965. Since then, he has lived almost as a hermit in New Hampshire. We will now see if his typewriter has been on these past 45 years. Here’s hoping it has been.