My Salinger Year Extract | Part I: Winter
We all have to start somewhere. For me, that somewhere was a dark room, lined from floor to ceiling with books, rows and rows of books sorted by author, books from every conceivable era of the twentieth century, their covers bearing the design hallmarks of the moments in which they’d been released into the world – the whimsical line drawings of the 1920s, the dour mustards and maroons of the late 1950s, the gauzy watercolor portraits of the 1970s – books that defined my days and the days of the others who worked within this dark warren of offices. When my colleagues uttered the names on the spines of those books, their voices turned husky and reverential, for these were names of godlike status to the literarily inclined. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dylan Thomas, William Faulkner. But this was, and is, a literary agency, which means those names on the spines represented something else, something else that leads people to speak in hushed voices, something that I’d previously thought had absolutely nothing to do with books and literature: money.