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What's worse, he does his best to turn the hugely driven young woman into a mistrusting, publicity-shy prig, not to mention helping her perfect her already anorexic bent. Maynard is such a skilled writer that it's hard not to take her side as the relationship falters. In fact, even when it's going well, it's not easy to sympathize with a man whose idea of an endearment is, "I couldn't have made up a character of a girl I'd love better than you." But Maynard is as hard on her younger self as she is on the great man. Though she had published intimate essays since her early teens, and long been feted for her "honesty," it has taken the overachiever many years to realize that she had carefully left out her most personal burdens--her father's alcoholism, her mother's nighttime "snuggling" and overwhelming intrusions, the distance between her and her older sister.
Still, At Home in the World is more than a clearing-house for past parental and amorous wrongs. It's a cautionary tale about using language and the pretense of truth to obscure key realities. One of the many curiosities in this discomfiting book? Salinger dreamt that he and Maynard had a child together: "I saw her face clearly. Her name was Bint." The World War II veteran then looks up the word. "What do you know," he says. "It's archaic British, for little girl." Maynard never, even now, has questioned his definition. In fact, it's slang, used especially in World War II, for prostitute. When Salinger forced the 19-year-old to clear her things out of his New Hampshire house, she was still unaware of the word's force. "On the window of Jerry's bedroom, where the glass is dusty, I write, with my finger, the name of the child we had talked about: BINT." --Kerry Fried --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A deeply depressing memoir. An intelligent, talented 18-year-old throws away a Yale education in order to cohabitate with the author of 'The Catcher in the Rye,' the Young Adult... Read morePublished 7 days ago by Philip Terzian
I was unable to rid myself of the feeling that Ms. Maynard did not write her memoir of her and Salinger from
the right point. Read more
I agree with every positive comment about this amazing book. It is a memoir so honest that I marveled at the author's ability to tell all about herself and those who peopled her... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Arlene Eisenbise author of BIG WAR, Little Wars
I came to this after reading a biography of Salinger. Maynard certainly was victimized by Salinger, who comes across as a world class user of other people, but it becomes painful... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Cochise
Credit must be given where credit is due. Joyce Maynard has proven her writing skills prior to this Memoir. Her version of the affair with J. D. Read morePublished 3 months ago by James H. Pipkin
I received this book for Christmas in and didn't pick it up until March. I'd read three of Joyce Maynard's books already, but knew nothing about her. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Anwyn Cook
Joyce Maynard has a big story to tell here, and boy does she tell it! She's fiercely honest about what happened between her and J.D. Read morePublished 6 months ago by M. Gregerson