- Taschenbuch: 249 Seiten
- Verlag: Bloomsbury UK; Auflage: Export/Airside (5. Juni 2014)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 140885550X
- ISBN-13: 978-1408855508
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 13,7 x 2,1 x 21,5 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 1 Kundenrezension
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 50.273 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
My Salinger Year (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 5. Juni 2014
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Here is the story of a reader becoming a writer, of a young woman deciding who she will be, of the power of books. Here is a memoir that manages to be dreamlike but sharp, poignant but unsentimental. Here is a book I'm going to have to insist you read immediately Maggie Shipstead, author of Seating Arrangements Joanna Rakoff is the literary world's Lena Dunham, both of them witty, sensitive, elegantly baffled, zeitgeist-hitting Brooklyn ladies of their respective half-generations Sheila Weller, author of the New York Times bestseller, Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon-and the Journey of a Generation This is an impossibly excellent read-a glowingly entertaining, miss-your-subway-stop engrossing, note-perfect piece of storytelling Charles Bock, author of New York Times bestseller, Beautiful Children An utterly beguiling memoir, not only about Salinger and a bygone era of publishing, but about relationships, finding one's voice, and surviving in the big city -- Caroline Sanderson Bookseller A warm, witty, occasionally sly piece of storytelling ... An affectionate love letter to a first job in an industry that in just 20 years has changed beyond recognition -- Sam Baker Harper's Bazaar My Salinger Year's reference points, from the Brooklyn brownstones to the Danish pastries wolfed on the number 6 train to 51st Street, are all American, but the emotional landscape it conjures up will be just as true for readers on this side of the pond. Anyone who has struggled to find their bearings as an unworldly young adult will be deeply moved by it - I certainly was -- Emma Hughes Country Life This book is hard to put down... irresistible -- Lucy Atkins Sunday Times Like a literary The Devil Wears Prada ... an irresistible read Harper's Bazaar Anyone who has ever dreamed of a life in books will find much to love in Joanna Rakoff's memoir ... Funny and knowing, it's both an idiosyncratic tribute to Salinger's writing and an affirmation of the power of books to spark tectonic human connections Metro Extraordinary ... Gripping and funny ... My Salinger Year is a treat even Jerry might have enjoyed -- Rachel Cooke Observer An elegant memoir -- Jane Shilling Sunday Telegraph In prose that is clear, precise and evocative, Rakoff renders her people and places touchably real -- Hannah McGill Independent This is a funny, delightful, coming-of-age memoir that completely caught me off guard. So absorbing is it that I devoured the whole thing in one sitting Woman & Home A charming coming-of-age memoir that fizzes with youthful energy and bookish insight Good Housekeeping Spellbinding ... You don't have to be a Salinger fan to fall under Rakoff's spell; I'm not and I did -- Laura Miller Guardian Poignant and witty Company Magazine Elegantly written, wryly observed, Rakoff's memoir is a high-quality literary snack Financial Times This is a book for book lovers; not just those who love stories, but those fascinated with peeking "behind the curtain" ... A magnificent portrait of a fascinating year; a pleasure to read Irish Examiner Rakoff's raw, honest descriptions of her life in Brooklyn and her loser boyfriend turn this book into a coming of age tale, as Catcher is. But My Salinger Year is more than just a snapshot of a particular time and place. The most powerful and original parts of the book describe the intimate relationships Rakoff establishes with the readers through their letters and explore her theory that ultimately writing is an anatomy of loss Literary Review
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Joanna Rakoff is a poet and the author of the novel A Fortunate Age, which won the Goldberg Prize for Jewish Fiction by Emerging Writers, was a New York Times Editors' Pick, a winner of the Elle Readers' Prize and a San Francisco Chronicle bestseller. As a journalist and critic, she has written for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Vogue, Time Out and O:The Oprah Magazine. The BBC produced a radio documentary following her as she tracked down the writer of her favourite Salinger fan letter. She has degrees from Columbia University, University College London and Oberlin College. Joanna Rakoff lives in Boston. www.joannasmithrakoff.comAlle Produktbeschreibungen
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"I didn't want to be normal. I wanted to be extraordinary. I wanted to write novels and make films and speak ten languages and travel around the world."
Gemeinsam mit ihrem marxistischen Freund Don, von dem ihr Freund aus der Studienzeit nichts weiß, bezieht sie ein schäbiges Appartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Joanna Rakoff hat Literaturwissenschaft studiert und findet trotz Rezession sofort eine Anstellung als Assistentin in einer Literatur-Agentur, deren Namen Rakoff genau wie den ihrer Chefin diskret verschweigt. Wer mag, kann im Intenet recherchieren, welche Namen sich dahinter verbergen.
Es ist Rakoffs erste Arbeitsstelle und sie hat nur vage Vorstellungen davon, was sie zu tun hat und was von ihr erwartet wird.
Am ersten Arbeitstag erfährt sie, dass The Agency "Jerry" Salinger vertritt, der jeglichen Kontakt mit der Öffentlichkeit meidet. Hauptaufgabe der jungen Frau, die am liebsten Manuskripte lesen und Kontakt mit Autoren haben möchte, wird es für längere Zeit, die Fan-Post an Salinger mit einem eigens auf der Schreibmaschine abzutippenden abschlägigen Formbrief zu bescheiden, der seit den 60er Jahren unverändert jedem Adressaten zurück gesandt wird.
Computer haben in The Agency, die aus einem Dickens-Roman stammen könnte, noch keinen Einzug gehalten. Salinger soll keine Fanpost bekommen und nicht kontaktiert werden; unmissverständlich die Anweisung der kettenrauchenden Chefin, dass das auch for Rakoff selbst gilt.Lesen Sie weiter... ›
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But make no mistake, this book is not about J.D. Salinger. Not really. It’s about Joanna Rakoff, but it could be about any young woman, straight out of college, naïve and wishful, striving to get in touch with what’s authentic and what’s real.
For Ms. Rakoff, that means taking a job with sub-standard pay at a literary agency called the Agency – although just a little bit of Googling reveals that the Agency is Harold Ober Associates, a venerable agency that represented J.D. Salinger. There she worked for Phyllis Westberg (referred to as “my boss”) who fiercely protected his privacy and his legend.
Young Joanna, living with her socialist would-be writer boyfriend, Don in a dumpy Wiliamsburg apartment, spends her days on her Selectric and Dictaphone…right at the time when more forward-thinking agencies have invested in computers. One of her tasks is to respond to J.D. Salinger’s many fervent fans through an Agency form letter; quickly, she abandons that practice and surreptiously begins writing her own heartfelt responses.
Eventually, it dawns on us what “My Salinger Year” really means. It’s not just a year of spent responding to the voluminous and candid fan mail…and sometimes, speaking with “Jerry” himself. It’s also understanding the ongoing significance of Salinger in her life: “To somehow find a way to live in a world that sickens her. To be her authentic self. To not be the person the world is telling her to be, the girl who must bury her intelligence…who must compromise herself in order to live.”
That’s not just a description of Franny. It’s an apt description of Joanna Rakoff. Indeed, these are sentences that can apply to each of us. This is a simply wonderful book, a book that’s custom-made for every aspiring writer, every passionate reader, and every dreamer who wants to face the world on her own terms.
"He doesn't want to read your stories. He doesn't want to hear how much you loved 'Catcher in the Rye.""
"I don't have any stories," I told her half-truthfully.
"Good," she said. "Writers always make the worse assistants."
In fact, Rakoff, who goes on to publish a novel and poetry, finds that she has a knack for picking out possibilities from the slush pile and editing. But since part of her job is sending form letters to Salinger's correspondents, she becomes dissatisfied with the format, and begins to add personal touches to them. (A few she is unable to reply to for various reasons, but winds up keeping them after she leaves the agency.) She does wind up meeting "Jerry," and even having a few conversations with him, as he intends to publish his last short story "Hapworth," at the time. And - if you're like the reviewer this may make you even more envious - she gets to (briefly) meet Judy Blume.
However, the bulk of the book is about Rakoff herself, adjusting to full-fledged adulthood. Away from the job, she deals with a less than ideal boyfriend, a home without heat, debt and friends who are no longer seem to share all her interests. While this is well trod territory, as is the memorable first job, Rakoff does bring a freshness to her descriptions. Many - especially the parts about how her boss slowly comes to acknowledge the necessity of computers and (gasp) the Internet are hilarious. I doubt I could be so generous and un-snarky in her shoes. Ultimately, the lessons Rakoff learns are not in themselves unique, but it's easy to cheer her on when she does begin to mature. Upon moving at the end, she even gives her plaid skirts to Goodwill. "After all, I was not a schoolgirl anymore."
And I like Rakoff's writing. She describes the publishing industry and what is happening to it well, and more importantly she allows her readers to experience her coming of age, her evolution during the year of which she writes into a strong, independent person.
She also allows us to appreciate the way Salinger--and writers like Salinger--get under our skins and help us in our our separate struggles to become fully human.
But what I abhor is the way Rakoff reveals secrets about the private life of her boss, secrets which are wholly unnecessary to her narrative and unworthy of the quality of the rest of the writing The book could have easily accomplished all the good things I mention above without those revelations. It would have been simple human decency and have demonstrated a respect for the privacy of someone who was a mentor (ironically the same respect that Salinger insisted upon) to leave those details out. Yes, they sell books, they allow a momentary little titter of recognition if the reader knows who the person is; even this review, unfortunately, will probably tempt other people to get the book. But they are unworthy of the person Joanna Rakoff seems to have striven to become in the pages of this book; they reduce the book to just another gossipy tell-all, something It did not have to be and should not have become. Shame on her.
I might have given this book more stars had the author not done the very thing that Salinger asked his employees not to do: invade his privacy and use his name for personal gain. The author blew it here. Too bad.
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