A New Book Claims J.D. Salinger’s Missing Ball Was His Driving Force

Ami Angelowicz | September 5, 2013 - 1:20 pm

According to the book Salinger and accompanying documentary opening this Friday, the reclusive author’s driving, creative force were his balls, or lack thereof. A New York Times review of the book by David Shields and Shane Salerno reveals the theory that Salinger’s alleged missing nut was his secret shame and cause for isolation:

“The authors contend that Salinger ‘was born with only one testicle’ and they argue that this caused him enormous embarrassment — that it was ‘surely one of the many reasons he stayed out of the media glare’ so as ‘to reduce the likelihood that this information would emerge,’ and that it amplified his psychological need ‘to create flawless art.’ This assertion, however, is based on anonymous sources: two unnamed women who the authors say ‘independently confirmed’ hearsay that Salinger suffered from this anomaly.”

While it’s interesting to attribute Salinger’s need to create flawless art alone in the woods of New Hampshire to his missing ball, it seems like a bit of a stretch. Not to be insensitive about any shame this might have caused him. But a lot of writers suffer from the very same affliction, missing nut or not.  [The Atlantic Wire]