Word of the Day – Tuesday, July 16th



Word of the Day


Clever Clue of the Month

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ESME (EHZ-may)

Title character of a short story by J.D. Salinger
Common clues:
Salinger girl; Salinger dedicatee; Salinger title girl; Salinger lass; “For ___, With Love and Squalor”; Salinger orphan; J.D. Salinger heroine
Crossword puzzle frequency: 4 times a year
Frequency in English language: 63797 / 86800
9 Stories Book

I am a kind of paranoid in reverse. I suspect people of plotting to make me happy. ~ J D Salinger

"For Esmé – with Love and Squalor" is a short story by J. D. Salinger. Originally published in The New Yorker on April 8, 1950, it was anthologized in Salinger's Nine Stories two years later (while the story collection's American title is Nine Stories, it is actually known as For Esmé - with Love & Squalor in most countries). For Esmé is an Army sergeant's (referred to only as Sergeant X) recollection of a meeting he had with a young girl, Esmé, before he was sent into combat. His strange but loving relationship with Esmé helps him to endure the squalor of war. Lack of purity and innocence in the adult world, love of childhood itself, and the power of words and writing are among the story's themes.

The short story was immediately popular with readers; less than two weeks after its publication, on April 20, Salinger "had already gotten more letters about For Esmé than he had for any story he had published." The story was referred to by Salinger biographer Paul Alexander as a "minor masterpiece," and Time has called it "the warmest and best of the Nine Stories."

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "For Esme - With Love and Squalor".