Short Story of The Week – Salinger
New York is a playground filled with distractions from reading anything that can’t be finished in one sitting.
Enter the Short Story. It brings forth a deftly crafted world of activity, oddities, and impressionable characters that you’ll get to know in just a fraction of the time. Charming, no?
This week, we’ve got “A Girl I Knew” by J.D. Salinger, an under-published short story set in 1936. A college dropout sails for Vienna, fully intending to squander away his father’s money under the pretense of going on a business trip for the family firm. Then he meets a Viennese-Jewish girl named Leah, who, in short, becomes his whole city.
Hilarious dialogue ensues. With Salinger, it always does. But this isn’t your typical Bad-Rich-Boy-Meets-Foreign-Girl, Bad-Rich-Boy-Transforms story. No, that would be phony. And any Salinger fan knows that with him, there never is an ounce of phoniness.
If you are a Salinger fan, this is a must-read. If you’ve never read his work before, this story is as good a start as any. Follow up with “A Perfect Day for Bananafish“, which is arguably his best short story to date.