She does not attempt nor claim it to be a biography of her father. There is a lot left unsaid and rightly I think because she is only writing about her father in relation to herself. When Christina Crawford wrote "Mommie Dearest" about growing up as the daughter of Joan Crawford, people did not expect her book to be a full biography of Joan, nor did they expect Christina to be a brilliant actress either. She obviously had a fairly troubled childhood, and the fact that she has managed to transcend that is admirable. I have read many books by more talented people in the arts fields where the writing is quite dismal.
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Salinger writes about life with her famously reclusive father, J. Salinger -- offering a rare look into the man and the myth, what it is like to be his daughter, and the effect of such a charismatic figure on the girls and women closest to him. With generosity and insight, Ms. Salinger has written a book that is eloquent, spellbinding, and wise, yet at the same time retains the intimacy of a novel.
Her story chronicles an almost cultlike environment of extreme isolation and early neglect interwoven with times of laughter, joy, and dazzling beauty. Salinger compassionately explores the complex dynamics of family relationships.
Her story is one that seeks to come to terms with the dark parts of her life that, quite literally, nearly killed her, and to pass on a life-affirming heritage to her own child. The story of being a Salinger is unique; the story of being a daughter is universal. This book appeals to anyone, J. Salinger fan or no, who has ever had to struggle to sort out who she really is from whom her parents dreamed she might be.
You see, Kitty, it must have been either me or the Red King. He was part of my dream, of course -- but then I was part of his dream, too! Was it the Red King, Kitty?
You were his wife, my dear, so you ought to know -- Oh, Kitty, do help to settle it! Then, spreading her white nightgown around her and slowly rising off the ground, she would fly up and down the passageway. My mother was a child hidden away. She, like many upper-class and upper-middle-class English children of her day, was raised by staff in the nursery.
I grew up hearing grim tales of nursery life. The one brief, bright spot was a nice governess, Nurse Reed, who took little Claire home with her on visits to her family. Once, when I was in the hospital with poison ivy, my mother told me that when she was at the convent and got poison ivy, the nuns scrubbed her head to toe, beneath the sheet of course, with a bristle brush and lye soap to remove the evil ivy boils. But now, as an adult, it no longer made sense to me, and I asked her about it.
During the Blitz, parents with the means and "any sense at all," she said, took their families out of London and went to stay with friends or relatives in the country. The Doug-las family had both country relations and money; nevertheless, Claire and her brother, Gavin, were packed on a train, unaccompanied, "with all the poor children," and evacuated to a convent at St.
She was five years old. There was no comfort to be found in her elder brother, who, at seven, had a well-developed penchant for torturing animals and small girls. When he came to the house, he bothered me a couple of times, but it was mostly my brother he was interested in, not me, thank God.
The governess deposited Claire and Gavin on a ship, the Scythia, offering the children no explanation. Her duty accomplished, she turned and marched off the ship. The ship was packed with stunned, weeping children headed for the safety of the United States to sit out the war.
One bit of contact, which Claire clung to like a life preserver, was to stand on the deck each day and wave to the children on the deck of their sister ship, The City of Benares, which carried the same cargo of unaccompanied children and sailed alongside them in close convoy. The children would wave back to her. Several days out of Southampton, as Claire was exchanging waves, a German torpedo ripped into the side of the Benares.
It exploded into flames. Claire watched in mute horror as it sank, children screaming and dancing as they burned. The Scythia disembarked at Halifax, Nova Scotia. From Halifax, Claire and Gavin traveled alone by train to Waycross, Georgia, to meet their first host family.
Their second placement was in Tampa, Florida. She remembers being terribly sunburned and attributes her midlife melanoma to her Tampa stay. I never heard about these places growing up. The towns, and the order in which the placements occurred, were literally at her fingertips as she ticked them off, counting on her fingers the way my son, at age four, might display his mastery of the days of the week.
She told me that her father, an art dealer, came to America shortly after she did, in , to sell some pictures in New York. He was stuck there while the shipping passage was blocked by German U-boats. When it opened, he sent for his wife and they spent the duration of the war in New York City building up the business at Duveen Brothers and getting established.
When the war ended, the foster program ended, too, and the Douglases had to collect their children, at which point Claire was sent off to the Convent of the Holy Child in Suffern, New York, where she stayed until the end of eighth grade; Gavin went to Milton Academy.
She shook her head and said, "God only knows what story my mother told them. In eighth grade, she refused to go back to the convent. The whole school was ordered to shun me, not to speak to me, until I had declared my decision. I was going mad. Claire was sixteen and had just begun her senior year at Shipley.
Dream Catcher: A Memoir
Salinger writes about life with her famously reclusive father, J. Salinger -- offering a rare look into the man and the myth, what it is like to be his daughter, and the effect of such a charismatic figure on the girls and women closest to him. With generosity and insight, Ms. Salinger has written a book that is eloquent, spellbinding, and wise, yet at the same time retains the intimacy of a novel. Her story chronicles an almost cultlike environment of extreme isolation and early neglect interwoven with times of laughter, joy, and dazzling beauty. Salinger compassionately explores the complex dynamics of family relationships.
Download EBOOK Dream Catcher PDF for free
Salinger If I could give this book a negativestar rating, I would. It was a battle for me to finish it. October 5, Contact Information: Salinger writes powerful prose as she works through the challenge of being J. A Memoir by Margaret A. It was a big move from magazine to book.