The newly released J. D. Salinger biography written by Kenneth Slawenski just a year after Salinger’s death will bring Catcher in the Rye (1951) and Holden Caulfield to the forefront again. The same is true of the recent revived interest in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) on the occasion of last year’s 50th anniversary of its publication.
Salinger’s death prompted me to revisit Catcher in the Rye and the publicity surrounding To Kill a Mockingbird’s anniversary placed me back in the center of those pages. A wonderful experience reading these works as an adult!
While hunting for Catcher in the Rye in the “Classics” section of my bookstore I found another gem, one which I had not read, The Yearling, written in 1939 by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.
The novel won a Pulitzer and was an instant best seller. Jody Baxter, growing up in back woods Florida “cracker” country with a father and mother preparing him for a life, which would be as difficult as their own. Originally it was labeled a children’s book but do not be fooled by the title, its message, descriptions and dialogue is a worthy read for all ages. The film The Yearling was released in 1946 and added tremendously to Rawlings fame.
The reference to “rustproof” in this blog title is credited to Ivan Doig, author of House in the Sky, who wrote a wonderful prologue for the The Yearling’s paperback re-issue in 2002. He is a well-known novelist raised on a ranch in Montana.
I believe the term “rustproof” is a wonderful description of so many great reads we have overlooked or forgotten. This blog aims to re Kindle the memory! Rawlings first novel; South Moon Under was published in 1933.