January 1st: J.D. Salinger

American writer Jerome David Salinger’s 1951 novel The Catcher in the Rye was a great success and certainly his best-known work that also made him so famous. Probably a result of the book being immediately so intensely controversial as it talks about casual sex and prostitution and includes a debatable high amount of coarse language (for instance, you may count the expression “goddam” 237 times). But the novel was so popular that a “Catcher Cult” developed around it, celebrated by the many adolescent readers who could sympathise with protagonist Holden Caulfield. So it was banned in some countries and American schools even leading to several teachers discussing The Catcher in the Rye being fired. However, it still remained one of the most taught books in high schools despite being so frequently censored. And it still is very widely read all over the world with more than 10 million books have sold worldwide. Salinger wrote all his life and published several collections of short stories and novellas like Nine Stories including A Perfect Day for Bananafish and Teddy, and Franny and Zooey, two stories about two sisters and the perception of society.

Today, Salinger would be 122 years old and we celebrate this most celebrated author’s birthday – and wish you all a Happy New Year!