Before I entered college, I knew that I was going to dive headlong into the literary world. Thankfully enough, I managed to find classes that specialized in editing and publishing fiction and non-fiction. I have learned much in these classes through my brutally honest and hilarious professor. As part of the curriculum, she had us read this particular novel. I went into it not thinking I would enjoy it that much but it ended up teaching me more than I expected.
My Salinger Year is an autobiographical account of Rakoff’s experiences working for a literary agency. To her surprise, she finds out that this particular agency represents the famed J.D. Salinger. Rakoff recalls as she tries to find a balance between the demanding and fast-paced work of keeping up with Salinger and her turbulent relationship with her boyfriend. She gives an in-depth look into the business side of literature and the struggle that college graduates go through when finding a life after school. Rakoff’s funny and honest narrative offers a relatable and cautionary tale for those looking into the literary field.
Though My Salinger Year is a rather short book (it’s just under 300 pages), it is full of depth and insightfulness. I like to describe as The Devil Wears Prada for book worms. Anyone who is interested in the literary industry will enjoy this particular autobiography. Rakoff’s writing feels as though she is telling you the story face-to-face and she is not afraid to get personal. I appreciate her open narrative and her message to just keep pushing through no matter how tough the problem is.