|This is a Dictaphone.|
It is not considered modern technology.
|Joanna Smith Rakoff|
No longer an agent's assistant.
Jerry, of course, is famous recluse J.D. Salinger, and 1996 happened to be a significant year for Salinger and his agent and his agent's assistant. Joanna answers the phone and transcribes notes and opens the many, many letters that arrive for Salinger from his fans. She is supposed to reply with a standard letter, but she's a writer and curious about the letter writers' stories and violates the form letter policy. Also, Jerry? He's hard of hearing and screams into the phone and never actually manages to call Joanna by her actual name. Joanna, too, hasn't actually read Salinger. Can you see the appeal of this book?
*For the record, I did like Franny and Zooey and Raise High the Roof, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction. I think I read The Catcher in the Rye too late; as a 27 year old, Holden Caulfield struck me as a whiny, spoiled, white guy with what's referred to these days as "first world problems" (a term I also hate).