J.D. Salinger fascination drives two new books
J.D. Salinger fascination drives two new books

The famously reclusive J.D. Salinger wouldn't allow himself to be known. And yet assorted authors continue to probe his life. Inevitably, they are forced to reiterate the same few scattered facts other scribes have pored over before. That's the fate Thomas Beller tries to avoid, with mixed success, in his biography-cum-travelogue "J.D. Salinger: The Escape Artist." Read more, and you may get an actual, fleeting look at the man as he stood in life — something Joanna Rakoff delivers in her often intriguing and lyrical but uneven new memoir, "My Salinger Year." After reading the new Salinger books by Beller and Rakoff (both respected novelists), I couldn't help but wish that "Jerry" — as...