Joyce Maynard Cannot Stop Writing About What a Bastard Salinger Was

Joyce Maynard, the writer who had a creepy affair with gross old J.D. Salinger when he was 53 and she a mere 18, is still tattling on the egregiously overrated recluse. And it sounds like he has it coming. "[S]he's taking him on again in 'Going Hungry: Writers on Desire, Self-Denial and Overcoming Anorexia,' a series of essays compiled by Kate Taylor. Maynard, without identifying Salinger by name, discusses the relationship she had after her freshman year at Yale with 'a man who liked that I was skinny and, in fact, taught me new tricks to stay that way. Over the year that followed, the relationship grew increasingly difficult for many reasons, but I suspect his policing of my body and my eating was one of them . . . The experience of having another person - even one I loved - telling me what to eat and forbidding certain foods filled me with frustration . . . '"

"'I started to sneak food. I borrowed the car and went to the supermarket, and then . . . ate three yogurts in a row, followed by a bag of popcorn or half a pack of Fig Newtons," she continues. "And, though I knew by this time how to make myself throw up (a skill the man had taught me), I couldn't get rid of everything I took in. I ceased to be so thin. Maybe I was a normal weight, but I felt gross, unlovable and ashamed.'

"In her memoir, 'At Home in the World,' the former New York Times writer described how she moved in with then 53-year-old Salinger when she was 18, and how he'd take her into the bathroom, ranting, 'You can't let this junk sit around putrefying in your intestine,' and make her vomit." [P6]