The Who2 Blog

J.D. Salinger: Not A Recluse?

Author J.D. Salinger was not a recluse, as so many have said (cough). Or so claim his New Hampshire neighbors:

He would, until recent years, vote in elections and attend town meetings at the Cornish Elementary School, and he went to the Plainfield General Store each day before it closed. He was often spotted at the Price Chopper supermarket in Windsor, separated from Cornish by a covered bridge and the now ice-jammed river, and he ate lunch alone at the Windsor Diner. Mr. Salinger was also said to have frequented the library at Dartmouth College and to have attended the occasional house party.


Mr. Salinger was a regular at the $12 roast beef dinners at First Congregational Church in Hartland, Vt. He would arrive about an hour and a half early and pass the time by writing in a small, spiral-bound notebook, said Jeannie Frazer, a church member. Mr. Salinger usually dressed in corduroys and a sweater, she said, and would not speak. He sat at the head of the table, near where the pies were placed.

We’ll take the neighbors’ words for it. Still, arriving at church suppers 90 minutes early and not speaking may not be reclusive, but it’s something.

More from the New York Times.

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