I'm not sure there is a writer I can consider more worthy of the crown and glory of being the king of short stories, like I consider Salinger.
He manages to open up a world with just a couple of words and then with several gestures, a dialogue or two he has already drawn the most complex characters, beneath which you can guess their backgrounds, their troubles, their subtle worries and their desires.
Each story is a mixture of tenderheartedness and nostalgia, to various extents, and some of them are genuinely heart-wrenching in the human truths they uncover.
Salinger, the mysterious loner, the writer who withdrew from the public eye, the only child who wrote about siblings and their interactions as if he had lived with a dozen brothers and sisters...You can't help but love him. I, at least, cannot.
I love his attention to detail and his analysis of children and their enlightening perspectives on the world: in A perfect day for bananafish, For Esme, with love and squalor, Teddy, Uncle wiggly in Connecticut and the Laughing man...the stories are almost all of them about adults understanding themselves better through their interactions with kids.
Writing this review made me want to re-read the book!