J.D. Salinger died yesterday at the age of 91 and, full disclosure, I’ve never read The Catcher in the Rye. Nor have I bothered getting detailed autobiographical information on Mr. Salinger. I can only say that his work had an effect on my prayer life, thus proving once again, to me anyway, that God continues to work through the secular in unexpected ways.
I was a new Catholic, and interested in deepening my prayer life. I was reading a book on contemplative prayer, Into the Silent Land by Martin Laird. The author mentioned Salinger’s novel Franny and Zooey. F&Z is another of Salinger’s novels that documents the triumphs and travails of the Glass family. Published as short stories in The New Yorker (Franny in 1955 and Zooey in 1957), then put together as one, the book was published in 1961.