Books That Inspire 2003

Franny and Zooey
J.D. Salinger

When I first read J. D. Salinger’s Franny & Zooey during teenage angst, I reveled in the freakishness of the Glass family—above all the irreverent, prankish, “verbal stuntpilot” Zooey. As an undergraduate, I knew Franny’s plight intimately: tired of dating pompous boys, exhausted with pedants, bored with conformity, and hungry for meaning. I yearned for the indulgent comfort of the Glass family couch, cat, and care. (I should admit that I tried the Jesus prayer.) I revisited F & Z as a young mother and could finally appreciate Bessie’s kimono pockets. In my latest reading, I was moved by Salinger’s antidote for spiritual and intellectual materialism: Christ consciousness in the form of a mundane, detached connection with all people.
Jana Moring
Research Specialist
Office of Development