33-year-old J.D. Salinger tried to run away with a married woman at a Harper’s Magazine party in 1952, one writer explained in a new essay. According to a Paris Review essay by Blair Fuller, Salinger privately proposed to her sister, Jill Fox, asking her to leave everything behind and start a new life in New Hampshire.
Fox refused, but confessed after the party: “I was smitten with Jerry [Salinger] that evening, but I wondered what he and I would be saying to one another around Hartford.” Hartford is the halfway point between Cornish and New York City.
Jill’s husband Joe Fox would become a Random House editor, working with authors like Truman Capote and Philip Roth. If given the chance, what author would you run away with?
One Paris Review reader had this comment: “What an incredible peek into the private life of a very reclusive and mysterious man. Salinger’s proposal to Jill sounds like something he would do given what we know about his ability to woo Joyce Maynard through letters alone and the fact that his widow was engaged to another man at the time he swooped her away – and this when he was in his late 70’s!” (via HTML Giant)