JD Salinger turns 90 tomorrow, but the milestone brings no new clarity to the life of the mysterious recluse, who has maintained four decades of closely-guarded silence. The New York Times does some close reading of the literary icon's work in a search for clues. The most critical questions: Has he been writing all this time, and will he ever publish again?
To better understand the author, Charles McGrath looks at Salinger's most recent work, a 1965 short story called Hapsworth 16, 1924. It gives an insight into the youth of much-analyzed character Seymour Glass. "How do you make art for an audience, or a critical establishment, too crass to understand it?," writes McGrath. "This is the issue that caused Seymour to give up, presumably, and one is tempted to say it’s what soured Mr Salinger on wanting to see anything else in print."
(Read more JD Salinger stories.)