Advice for Readers
Salinger published just 36 stories in the course of his career. Of these. 14 are easy to obtain: One novel and 13 short stories published in three mass-market books. These books are highlighted in bold in the list at right. Go to any library or bookstore and you will find these four books easily. I suggest the following order for those who are just (re)discovering Salinger:
- The Catcher in the Rye
- Nine Stories
- Franny and Zooey
- Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction
This will give you a good overview of the best-known Salinger stories, and most folks can probably stop here. If you're really interested in Salengeria even after this, I suggest going after the remaining 22 "underpublished" stories. These are much tougher to find, but can be rewarding and enjoyable to readers of any level.
Seven of these underpublished stories were republished in books. Even these can be difficult to locate, however, and the remaining 15 are much more difficult to find.
I suggest the following strategy:
- Locate a copy of Wonderful Town: New York Stories from the New Yorker or The Complete New Yorker and look up Slight Rebellion Off Madison. It's a great story, and its relationship to The Catcher in the Rye will be especially rewarding. If you are looking through The Complete New Yorker, you should look for Hapworth 16, 1924 as well, though it's a much more challenging piece of writing to appreciate.
- Find a copy of the July/August 2010 issue of the Saturday Evening Post, which contains the excellent A Boy in France
- A very good library may also have a copy of Best American Short Stories of 1949, which includes A Girl I Knew, and The Armchair Esquire, with This Sandwich Has No Mayonnaise. Both are excellent stories!
- Many libraries have microfilm copies of The Saturday Evening Post. Locate the following stories (in my order of preference):
- Libraries also often have Collier's on microfilm. Look for these stories (again, in my own order or preference):
- Next, ask for back issues of Cosmopolitan. Here you'll find The Inverted Forest in the December 1947 issue and Blue Melody from September 1948.
- Esquire is another one a library might have. Ask for September 1941 for The Heart of a Broken Story and October 1945 for This Sandwich Has No Mayonnaise.
- The May 1947 issue of Mademoiselle is the next stop. It includes A Young Girl in 1941 with No Waist at All which is otherwise difficult to find.
- If you haven't yet found A Girl I Knew in Best American Short Stories of 1949, look for the February 1948 issue of Good Housekeeping.
- Story magazine is much less common. If you can find back issues, though, look up the following:
- Most of The New Yorker stories were reprinted elsewhere. If you didn't find The Complete New Yorker, look for the December 1946 issue to read Slight Rebellion Off Madison and the June 19, 1965 edition for Hapworth 16, 1924
- Kansas Review is easily the most-difficult magazine to locate. Let's hope you can find a copy of Fiction: Form & Experience instead, or you'll never get to read Go See Eddie!