Kind of sad to hear that. I wonder why.
Maybe, to some extent, Salinger himself supplied the answer: it’s because reading his work made so many people think they knew him.
“What really knocks me out,” Holden Caulfield said in The Catcher in the Rye, “is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it.”
JD Salinger, born in New York, in 1919, was certainly not that kind of writer. If anything he rivalled Pynchon for reclusiveness. But in his generation that was acceptable behaviour for an author.
Now, there’s a lot more pressure on writers to be in contact with their audience (via festivals, online forums and various kinds of social media, radio, even TV shows if they are lucky).