Many years ago, as a graduate fresh out of university, I had to make the tricky decision of choosing between doing a masters degree – for which I had won a scholarship – or interning at various publishing houses until I was offered a job. After much deliberation I chose the latter option, and thus begun several months of interning; for Bloomsbury, for Penguin and finally for Midas – an experience that certainly whet my appetite for an industry in which I now work.
Thus it was with great interest that I began My Salinger Year – a memoir about literary New York in the 1990s by Joanna Rakoff, who after graduating from University worked as an assistant to the literary agent for JD Sallinger.
Much of My Salinger Year resonated with my experience of working in publishing in my early twenties – the joy of being in an office surrounded by books; the esteem with which you hold your more learned colleagues, and the utter awe that washes over you when you meet an author for the first time.
Rakoff’s memoir is as much about the transition from student life to working life as it is about her time spent in publishing, and is a wonderfully charming tale that is both poignant and nostalgic.
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