"The Catcher in the Rye" author J.D. Salinger had been a recluse most of his life until his death in 2010. Fans who are eager to know more about the life of one of America's most famous writers will be happy to know that a new documentary about him is slated for release this year.
J.D. Salinger's most famous novel
Veteran photographer Michael McDermott's snapshots of Salinger during his 'stalking' assignment for Newsweek about the author in 1979 is featured in the Harvey Weinstein-produced film.
According to Oregon Live, McDermott didn't think that his photos of Salinger before he became a recluse was important. Thirty-four years later, one of his photos of the author has become very famous and landed him a documentary backed by a big distributor.
Newsweek sent him to capture a picture of J.D. Salinger for $1,000. He didn't think the assignment was exciting, yet he went there for the money because he was only earning $250 day rate for his job.
The photographer asked Newsweek "OK, what's the phone number? Where do I go" but the company said "No. No number. This is someone who doesn't want to be photographed."
Salinger became a recluse after the international success of his most famous novel "The Catcher in the Rye" in the 1950s, which became a standard in high school English reading list. He had no new photograph since 1961.
Mcdermott's chance to photograph Salinger came on his second day of following the author. A couple stopped to talk to him after leaving the post office.
"As he came back out, I got it," McDermott said. "I got Salinger."
Compared to the other photos shot by photographers, Salinger looked angry for his loss of privacy while McDermott's shot features the author holding his mail.
Screenwriter and director Shane Salerno, best known for his works in Armageddon and the Avatar sequel, called McDermott's mother to buy the rights of the Newsweek photograph for the documentary and a 700-page book about the author.
The book contains photographs, letters and other materials collected from his friend Paul Fitzgerald who died just months later after Salinger's death.
McDermott is also selling limited edition prints of the famous Salinger image to help the North Portland nonprofit Friends of the Children, where he volunteers during his spare time.
McDermott revealed that he was not a fan of the author. It was only when Salerno contacted him that he went back to read "The Catcher in the Rye," "Franny and Zooey" and "Raise High the Roofbeam, Carpenters." He has become a J.D. Salinger fan since then.
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