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Celebrated author JD Salinger dies


Catcher in the Rye author JD Salinger has died at the age of 91 at his home in New Hampshire. He was one of the literary giants of 20th century US fiction, with Holden Caulfield, the main character of his novel, becoming a cultural icon.

Jerome David Salinger was born on New Year's Day, 1919, in New York to an Irish mother and a Jewish father with Polish roots.

He began writing stories as a teenager and started to make a name for himself with the publication of the short story A Pefect Day for Bananafish in the New Yorker magazine in 1948.

But it was The Catcher in the Rye, published three years later, that sealed his reputation. The story of 16-year-old Holden Caulfield and his musings as he makes his way home after being kicked out of school touched nerve with America's disaffected youth.

Overwhelmed by his sudden fame, Salinger retreated to a hermit-like existence in his native New Hampshire. He published his last work in the New Yorker in 1965 and refused to give interviews for the last three decades of his life.

His death has fuelled speculation over whether the legendary author left behind a body of unpublished works. It is believed the market for any posthumous Salinger writings would be highly lucrative.