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Joanna Smith Rakoff

Autor(a) de My Salinger Year

3 Works 754 Membros 59 Críticas 1 Favorited

About the Author

Image credit: Author photo by Mark Ostow

Obras por Joanna Smith Rakoff

My Salinger Year (2014) 523 exemplares, 40 críticas
A Fortunate Age (2009) 230 exemplares, 19 críticas
Mon année Salinger (2014) 1 exemplar


Conhecimento Comum

Data de nascimento
Local de nascimento
Nyack, New York, USA
Locais de residência
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Oberlin College



A memoir by Rakoff, as to her first job out of University, working in New York for a literary agent for some of the biggest literary authors of the time, including the reclusive J D Salinger.

The agency was very conservative in its approach to the conduct of its business. We are talking New York 1996 and yet it had no computer, and when it was convinced to acquire one, it did just that, it acquired one computer/screen which was not to be used except for very proscribed purposes.

Rakoff worked principally for Dorothy (you guessed it, an old school, conservative agent for personally served long standing clients, with a passion. Deals were done over long lunches; new books were offered to individual publishers (never auctioned and never ever offered to multiple publishers to scramble over).

Dorothy was the principal agent for J D Salinger, who never wanted to see let alone respond to fan letters and never accepted any invitations to anything. Hence all correspondence was directed to the agency. part of Rakoff's role was to deal with such correspondence, usually by responding with a template letter expressing regret that Salinger was unable to respond /accept the kind invitation and that the agency was under strict instructions not to forward the correspondence to Salinger.

Rakoff becomes increasingly interested in the Salinger enigma, and takes a few calls from him when her boss is unavailable.

Over the year in question, we follow Rakoff in her maturing relationship with her friends and acquaintances (work and otherwise).

It is a fascinating read as to a person starting a career in a fascinating scenario.

One does not need to have read Salinger (or indeed to have ever heard of him) to enjoy this memoir.

Very much recommended for anyone you enjoys a memoir.

Big Ship

8 April 2024
… (mais)
bigship | 39 outras críticas | Apr 7, 2024 |
A very interesting account of the author's year working at a literary agency in New York.
secondhandrose | 39 outras críticas | Oct 31, 2023 |
I just loved this book!
schoenbc70 | 39 outras críticas | Sep 2, 2023 |
What a delightful read! For those of you looking for an enjoyable, lighthearted easy-to-read memoir that doesn't involve rape, murder, incest, or terrible heartbreak, this one's a good bet. Joanna tells the story of her job as an assistant at the Agency, a literary agency in New York that is both prestigious and extremely resistant to change. The Agency happens to represent "Jerry" also known as the reclusive J.R. Salinger. Salinger gets quite loving treatment in Rakoff's hands, but the Agency and her socialist boyfriend, Don, do not. The story is a small one, and you won't be on an emotional roller coaster by any means, but it was just an intriguing look from an insider perspective at Agency life as well as the story of a young woman trying to make her way in the world for the first time. The literary angle was icing on the cake for this book lover. I have read some Salinger, but this book also really made me want to revisit Catcher in the Rye and read Nine Stories already. It was very helpful to have recently read Franny and Zooey since that book was referenced quite a bit. If you like Salinger, definitely add this to your list.… (mais)
Anita_Pomerantz | 39 outras críticas | Mar 23, 2023 |



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