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Part I: Teaching Salinger’s NINE STORIES
Preface. NINE STORIES as a Short Story Cycle. A Perfect Day for Bananafish. Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut. Just Before the War with the Eskimos. The Laughing Man. Down at the Dinghy. For Esmé, With Love and Squalor. Pretty Mouth and Green My Eyes. De Daumier-Smith’s Blue Period. Teddy.
Part II: Nine Essays
The View from Shore: Seymour Glass in “The Waste Land” (Joseph A. Thompson, University of Mississippi). Uncle Wiggily’s Haunted House (Olivia Carr Edenfield, Georgia Southern University). From York to Lexington: A Pilgrimage through Allusions in “Just Before the War with the Eskimos” (Sarah Marshall, Nyack College). Salinger Criticism and “The Laughing Man”: A Case of Arrested Development (Richard Allan Davison, University of Delaware). “The old ship is steady again”: Empathy and The Divine Comedy in “Down at the Dinghy” (Michael Renganeschi, SUNY New Paltz). Esmé’s Kind of Squalor (Donald Junkins, University of Massachusetts, Amherst). The Necessity of Art in “Pretty Mouth and Green My Eyes” (Holland Whiteburch, Baylor University). Salinger and Sincerity: “De Daumier-Smith’s Blue Period” (Alex Shakespeare, Boston College). “One Little Genius Among the Missing”: Loss, Human Communion, and the Negative Way in “Teddy” (William Boyle, University of Mississippi).
Published November 2011
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In Teaching Salinger’s NINE STORIES, Brad McDuffie has compiled far more than a teaching aide. He provides an examination of Salinger’s Nine Stories that is forensically detailed and thought provoking. Presented in two parts, the first section provides compelling overviews of each story, while the second offers a series of impressive essays contributed by eminent academics. Still, the book’s greatest value may be in its ability to display the interaction between each separate story, revealing Salinger’s Nine Stories to be a unified work of art. This achievement is long overdue and is an innovative and invaluable resource.
- Kenneth Slawenski, author of J. D. Salinger: A Life
This study is the most thorough and close reading that we have on Salinger's Nine Stories. It takes each story by turn and examines it carefully from its own point of view and theme and from the context of the collection. It develops a clear thesis that identifies Salinger's literary and religious intentions from "Bananafish" to "Teddy" so that the reader sees the unity and individual details with new appreciation. Questions at the end of each chapter help focus on these details and make this book an excellent teaching text. The chapter on "The Laughing Man," for example, demonstrates how Salinger's seemingly enigmatic hints illuminate his characters and plot in a masterful use of the short story form. A most helpful, well organized and insightful study.
- James Finn Cotter, Professor of English, Mount Saint Mary College
Brad McDuffie‘s text is a valuable addition to any classroom and will help any Salinger readers increase their pleasure and understanding of Nine Stories. Whether young adult readers are inspired to read more by the author they loved in The Catcher in the Rye, or attend classes being taught to study Salinger’s shorter masterpieces, Teaching Salinger's NINE STORIES will guide all readers into the complexities, wisdom and beauty they may experience with Salinger’s shorter prose. McDuffie follows up nicely on the widely shared understanding that Salinger’s “second masterpiece” is his Nine Stories. McDuffie’s scholarship produces an honest and helpful reader’s guide—I recommend it also because I share the text’s critical respect for J. D. Salinger, as well as sharing McDuffie’s belief that Salinger was one of the greatest writers of his time.
- Wiliam Hochman, co-editor of Letters to J. D. Salinger, coauthor of Critical Companion to J. D. Salinger: A Literary Reference to His Life and Work
Brad McDuffie teaches at Nyack College. His work has been published in various journals including The South Carolina Review, Aethlon and North Dakota Quarterly. His article, “For Ernest, With Love and Squalor: The Influence of Ernest Hemingway on the Life and Work of J. D. Salinger,” was excerpted by the Kansas City Star in July 2011 and appeared in the spring 2011 edition of The Hemingway Review. He has also published articles in several books and journals on Elizabeth Madox Roberts and Richard Aldington. He published his first book of poems, And the West Was Not So Far Away, in 2009 and a chapbook of poetry, Seven Hymns From The West, in 2010. He received his MA from SUNY New Paltz in 2005 and is currently finishing his PhD at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
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