What are several items of interest that you learned about the author, J.D. Salinger, in the novel Shoeless Joe?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The depiction of Salinger in Kinsella's work is an interesting one.  It is unique because there is so little known about Salinger that it allows Kinsella to create a portrait that stirs the imagination about what Salinger would or could really have been like.  The fact that the Salinger vision featured in Kinsella's work is a charming and affable figure flies in the face of the reclusive vision that has been commonly associated with Salinger.  At the same time, Kinsella brings to light the ultimate hope of Salinger fans in suggesting that Salinger's experience with the mythical ball field will enable him to write again.  This is something that strikes at the heart of most Salinger fans who cannot understand how someone with so much talent would be willing to sacrifice it by not sharing it with an eager audience.  The experience of the ball field and Ray's desire to "ease his pain" is what enables Salinger to consider writing again in a "rapture" that is certain to rekindle the flame of authorship.  Such a depiction gains even more significance and meaning since Salinger's passing.