title: Franny and Zooey [support an independent bookseller and purchase at Strand]
author: J.D. Salinger
genre: short story & novella/fiction
source: New York Public Library
I certainly have nothing wildly original to contribute to what’s already been written about Salinger and his work. Originally published in the New Yorker and focused on the youngest of the Glass children, Franny focuses on the genesis of Franny’s spiritual/existential crisis and the companion novella Zooey tackles Zooey’s reaction as Franny brings her breakdown to the family home in Manhattan. Salinger’s narrative voice is so strong and his characters so dynamic and vibrant. My favorite scene takes place in the Glass family bathroom as Zooey’s bath is interrupted by Bessie, his meddlesome mother. Whether meant as a religious parable or love story, it’s certainly thought-provoking and rife with memorable moments and enviable dialogue (I *wish* I could be as intentional, witty and, when appropriate, eviscerating as Zooey when I speak!).
Rubric rating: 8. I wasn’t crazy about Catcher in the Rye the first time around (but then again, the first time around I was a 14 year old girl) and Franny and Zooey made me want to give it another shot.