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With his landmark novel Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger was an influential 20th-century American writer.
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In 1966, Claire Douglas sued for divorce, reporting that if the relationship continued it "would seriously inure her health and endanger her reason."
Six years later Salinger found himself in another relationship, this time with a college freshman named Joyce Maynard, whose story,
"An 18-Year-Old Looks Back on Life" had appeared in The New York Times Magazine and caught the interest of the older writer.
The two lived together in Cornish for 10 months before Salinger kicked her out. In 1998 Maynard wrote about her time with Salinger in a salacious memoir that painted a controlling and obsessive portrait of her former lover. A year later, Maynard auctioned off a series of letters Salinger had written her while they were still together. The letters fetched $156,500. The buyer, a computer programmer, later returned them to Salinger as a gift.
In 2000, Salinger's daughter Margaret wrote an equally negative account of her father that like Maynard's earlier book was met with mixed reviews.
For Salinger other relationships followed his affair with Maynard. For some time he dated the actress Ellen Joyce. Later he married a young nurse named Colleen O'Neill. The two were married up until his death on January 27, 2010 at his home in Cornish.
Despite the lack of published work over the last four decades of his life, Salinger continued to write. Those who knew him said he worked everyday and speculation swirls about the amount of work that he may have finished. One estimate claims that there may be as many as 10 finished novels locked away in his house.
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