I was recently reading an article in Publishers Weekly about an Indie publishing company, The Devault-Graves Agency, that is reissuing lost literary classics as e-books. I was thrilled when they kindly agreed to send me a copy of J.D. Salinger’s collection of three short stories.
Most people know about The Catcher in the Rye when author J.D. Salinger is mentioned. But he wrote quite a few short stories, including the three from this collection. They have not been published since 1940’s and the Devault-Graves company has rescued this collection from literary obscurity. In “The Young Folks”, Salinger puts us in the setting of a party where we feel the immediate awkwardness that ensues when a man and a woman are introduced by a mutual friend. They try to have a forced conversation and we continually are told my the young man that he should really be leaving the party to write a theme for one of his college classes.
The relationship between a sister and a protective brother is explored in “Go See Eddie.” The brother is worried that his sister’s amorous affairs are gaining her an unfortunate reputation. He tries to continually steer his sister towards applying for a job that she doesn’t want any part of. The ending of this story was clever and entertaining.
Finally, in “Once a Week Won’t Kill You” a man is packing to leave his wife to join the army. He says goodbye to an aunt who has raised him as her own son. It is amazing how many details are subtly conveyed to us about this young man’s life through his brief goodbye with his aunt.
If you are eager to read some Salinger but want something a little different from his most famous novel, then I highly recommend giving these short stories a try. They are a quick and entertaining read. Please check out the Devault-Graves Agency for their full list of publications, which also include some Jack Kerouac publications.