“Was She J.D. Salinger’s Predator or His Prey?”

I expect the title comes from an NYT editor, but the article is by aJoyce Manard, who llived with Salinger for close to a year starting when she as 18 and he VERY much older.


He dismssed her at the end.  She understood that she was expected to keep mum about the famous recluse.  And she did for 25 years, until she didn’t.  The sky fell on her.

That season, at a rare literary event to which I had been invited, an entire row of writers I respected greatly rose from their seats en masse and, as I took the stage, departed the room. I like to think that had they stayed and listened to me that day, they might have questioned their assumptions.
For 20 years, I’ve lived with the consequences of having told that forbidden story, and though I’ve since published nine novels and another memoir, none of which involves Salinger, few reviews of any book I write fail to mention that when I was 18 I slept with a great writer, and, more significantly, that I later committed the unpardonable offense of telling that story, or, as it is frequently stated, of writing a “tell-all” — language that aligns me with tabloid personalities.

Maynard asks if the #me too movent would have provied her a different reception.

i don’t know the answer.  At the same time I am horrified at my memories of a time when women ‘using’ their relationship with a famous man were treated as Maynard has been.