OVERRIDE

At Home in the World

A Memoir

Joyce Maynard

Picador

New York Times bestselling author of Labor Day
With a New Preface

When it was first published in 1998, At Home in the World set off a furor in the literary world and beyond. Joyce Maynard’s memoir broke a silence concerning her relationship—at age eighteen—with J.D. Salinger, the famously reclusive author of The Catcher in the Rye, then age fifty-three, who had read a story she wrote for The New York Times in her freshman year of college and sent her a letter that changed her life. Reviewers called her book “shameless” and “powerful” and its author was simultaneously reviled and cheered.

With what some have viewed as shocking honesty, Maynard explores her coming of age in an alcoholic family, her mother’s dream to mold her into a writer, her self-imposed exile from the world of her peers when she left Yale to live with Salinger, and her struggle to reclaim her sense of self in the crushing aftermath of his dismissal of her not long after her nineteenth birthday. A quarter of a century later—having become a writer, survived the end of her marriage and the deaths of her parents, and with an eighteen-year-old daughter of her own—Maynard pays a visit to the man who broke her heart. The story she tells—of the girl she was and the woman she became—is at once devastating, inspiring, and triumphant.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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At Home in the World
Chapter One


THE HOUSE WHERE I grew up, in Durham, New Hampshire, is the only one on the street with a fence surrounding it. That fit. Our family—my mother, my father, my older sister, Rona, and I—never belonged in that town. Or anywhere else, it seemed to me, but in that house, with one another, like a country unto ourselves, a tiny principality with a population of four. Arguably three, since my sister tried to remove herself as much as possible.There was a phrase we used in our family: “one of us.” We didn’t use it often, but what
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REVIEWS

Praise for At Home in the World

“Unsparing self-scrutiny...maturity and emotional candor.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“Absorbing, funny, and emotionally blistering.”—Jules Siegel, San Francisco Chronicle

“A wry, painful, engaging book.”—Frank McCourt, author of Angela’s Ashes

“Maynard’s testimony is priceless.”—Mary Cantwell, Vogue

“Riveting and disturbing.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Even Salinger loyalists may feel compelled to reexamine their idol.”—Glamour

“Dazzling.”—San Francisco Chronicle

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Joyce Maynard

  • Joyce Maynard’s essays have appeared in magazines and newspapers for five decades. She is the author of four works of nonfiction and nine novels, including To Die For and Labor Day—soon to be released as a major motion picture. Her latest novel, After Her, will be published in August 2013.
  • Joyce Maynard
    Joyce Maynard
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Available Formats and Book Details

At Home in the World

A Memoir

Joyce Maynard

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Picador

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