WHO: Joanna Rakoff
WHAT: MY SALINGER YEAR
WHEN: Published by Knopf June 6, 2014
WHERE: Set in New York.
WHY: “Honest, introspective, and completely compelling.
“It is the early Nineties, and Joanna Rakoff, disenchanted with her graduate studies in London, decides she would rather write poetry than analyze it. Chasing this ambition, she flees to New York City and tries to make ends meet by working as a temp at a literary agency.
“The agency, although frozen in the time of chain-smoking bosses and Selectric typewriters represents a long list of celebrated clients, including J.D. Salinger himself. Rakoff, who has not actually read any of Salinger’s novels, finds herself swimming in Salinger fan mail and typing responses on the reclusive writer’s behalf. Meanwhile, at home she struggles to keep warm, let alone pursue her literary aspirations.
“Rakoff is a careful observer and endearingly human. Her coming-of-age story is a gentle reminder that we are all, still, coming of age.” —Meagan Lacy, BOOKLIST
“A vibrant coming-of-age memoir that moves along with momentum and energy.” —PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
“Sharply observed…Engaging, particularly for its mastery of tone…Rakoff provides good company as she explores the mysteries of the literary world.” —KIRKUS REVIEWS
From the beginning of the book: There were hundreds of us, thousands of us, carefully dressing in the gray morning light of Brooklyn, Queens, the Lower East Side, leaving our apartments weighted down by tote bags heavy with manuscripts, which we read as we stood in line at the Polish bakery, the Greek deli, the corner diner, waiting to order our coffee, light and sweet, and our Danish, to take on the train, where we would hope for a seat so that we might read more before we arrived at our offices in midtown, Soho, Union Square.