2013 was a year the late J. D. Salinger would have hated. A man who zealously guarded his privacy, last year saw the release of a Salinger documentary and its companion book. Then, three Salinger unpublished stories were leaked.

Yet, Salinger—contrary to his image as a recluse, had a public side. In December 1959, he shared his views on the legal system in a letter to the New York Post. It was a response to an earlier Post article, “Who Speaks for the Damned?” about a New York State law denying parole to anyone sentenced to life imprisonment.

Salinger wrote. “Justice-without-mercy must easily be the bleakest, coldest, combination of words in the language,” No man, should face such a bleak future.”

For more on literary legends, tune into my show The Book Report


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