The Catcher in the Rye has long been at the top of lists for favorite novels read in high school. In addition to the text, students are often intrigued by the mystery of its elusive author, J. D. Salinger. Filmmaker Shane Salerno’s 10-year investigation culminates in the first work to get beyond J. D. Salinger’s impenetrable wall of privacy and seclusion. On Tuesday, January 21, at 9p, WGBY airs AMERICAN MASTERS: Salinger, an exclusive, never-before-seen director’s cut of Salinger featuring 15 minutes of new material. View a preview and learn more about the film and classroom resources. ABOUT THE FILM
Salinger is an intricately structured mystery that reveals the author’s private world: how World War II influenced his life and work, his painstaking writing methods, his many relationships with young women, and the literary secrets he left behind after his death in 2010. The documentary features interviews with some 150 subjects including Salinger’s friends, colleagues and members of his inner circle who speak on the record for the first time, as well as previously unseen film footage, photographs and other materials. Participants including E.L. Doctorow, Tom Wolfe, Gore Vidal, Pulitzer Prize-winners A. Scott Berg and Elizabeth Frank, actors Martin Sheen, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Edward Norton, John Cusack, Danny DeVito, playwright John Guare and Oscar-winning screenwriter Robert Towne all share Salinger’s influence on their lives, their work and the broader culture.
On PBS LearningMedia, American Masters provides Timeline: 3 Days in NYC with Holden Caulfield (Grades 9-12), which takes students on Holden’s journey in the city, aligning photographs of settings with key quotations from the novel. In addition, PBS LearningMedia allows you to search hundreds of resources for grade 9-12 English Language Arts and Literacy on topics such as craft and structure, key ideas and details, and integration of knowledge and ideas. You’ll also find rich materials on a wide-range of classic and contemporary writers and works.