In 1996 at age 23, Joanna Rakoff was hired at the storied New York literary agency Harold Ober Associates, which looked after the interests of the notoriously reclusive J. D. Salinger. Rakoff’s responsibilities included responding to the large volume of fan mail that Salinger was sent, Rakoff would respond with a generic response (i.e., “Salinger doesn’t read fan mail”). She eventually began composing thoughtful replies instead.
Her second novel, “My Salinger Year” (`14), is about Rakoff’s Ober/Salinger experiences. Philippe Falardeau‘s film adaptation, which premiered 11 months ago at the Berlin Film Festival, stars Margaret Qualley as Rakoff and Sigourney Weaver as her boss, Margaret (based on Salinger’s actual agent, Phyllis Westberg).
“The gleaming presence of up-and-comer Margaret Qualley bolsters an otherwise mildly entertaining reheating of The Devil Wears Prada story template, only here built around the enduring mystique of J.D. Salinger.” — Jim Schembri.