I mentioned a few days ago on my Facebook that I'm really enjoying the book I'm reading right now.
It's a memoir, and I don't generally go for those unless it's by someone that I'm really interested in already. Though I guess I was interested in Joyce Maynard - when she was 18 she had a year long relationship with JD Salinger, who was 53.
I'm enjoying her writing style, and when she described the beginnings of the correspondence between her and Salinger I was just completely in awe - he was so charming, so quick and funny. So Holden. And the person she comes to find him as...still all those positives, but like Holden, always finding something in life to be sad about. It's just really quite something.
It's making me feel wonderfully nostalgic; filled with all the feelings I had at 16/17 during my obsession with Holden and everything Salinger.
It's been really hard reading it too though. As well as bringing up feelings from my past, it's bringing up memories of my Mum, and Nanny...and really a bit of everyone on that side of my family. Everyone who's dead.
It was my mum who first suggested I read Catcher in the Rye in the summer I was 16, just before grade 12. She had read it when younger, and loved it. She reread it around the time I read it for the first time and loved it just as much, so we could talk about it and be on completely the same page.
I read it during a camping trip to Moosonee, and finished it in a day. My grandpop (my mum's dad) had died the year before and I remember some part of the book reminding me of him and bringing me to tears. I can't remember what part exactly...it may have just been Holden himself. My grandpop had that funny quick sense of humour.
On a camping trip the following summer I was reading (and struggling through a bit) Raise high the roofbeams, carpenter! and Seymour: an introduction. One afternoon while sitting at the picnic table with my mum and dad, just chatting my mum burst into tears. She said I reminded her so much of her brother (Neil, who died when I was 12) and was so sad that he wasn't around because she knew we would get along so well (we always did).
At Home in the World came out in 1999, right around the time I was writing my final English essay on Catcher. There was an interview with Joyce Maynard and some excerpts from the book in Vanity Fair, which my nanny bought so I could quote it in my paper. I don't think either my mum or Nanny read the book..though I can't be sure. I really can't believe that it's taken me this long to finally read it.
And now that I am....it's killing me that my mum or nanny aren't around for me to talk about it with.