Joyce Maynard On Dating J.D. Salinger

by Tee Tate

From THP:JD Salinger Portrait Session

Joyce Maynard’s 2009 novel, Labor Day, has been adapted into a feature film that hits theaters Jan. 31. The writer already has one other claim to fame: Long before she penned a book, she had an intimate relationship with J.D. Salinger.

Maynard wrote in The New York Times last year:

…people in positions of power — mentors, priests, employers or simply those assigned an elevated status — use their power to lure much younger people into sexual and (in the case of Salinger) emotional relationships. Most typically, those who do this are men. And when they are done with the person they’ve drawn toward them, it can take that person years or decades to recover.


In an interview with HuffPost Live, Maynard claimed that her relationship with Salinger did not impact her love life. She says:

That was not a love affair. It was a religious experience, and then an excommunication. I did not write to Salinger, Salinger wrote to me. [He] sought me out when I had an article on the cover of The New York Times Magazine when I was a very young eighteen-year-old.


Maynard also addresses her memoir, At Home in the World, which was strongly criticized for its portrayal of the affair.

Maynard’s relationship with Salinger was always a bit contentious, particularly when she sold love letter the reclusive writer wrote to her at Sotheby’s. The letters were eventually bought at auction and returned to Salinger. Details on their relationship as well as his dynamic life were chronicled in the documentary Salinger. For more details on that film, check our coverage here.

Related Posts

1 comment

Lisa R. Emig 27 January, 2014 - 4:11 pm

Very well done doc. on Salinger. I had no idea there are plans to publish his later works. Looking forward to 2015 and beyond.

Comments are closed.