For Esmé – with Love and Squalor
"For Esmé—with Love and Squalor" is a short story by J. D. Salinger. It recounts a sergeant's meeting with a young girl before being sent into combat in World War II. 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 titled as "For Esmé—with Love & Squalor" in most countries).
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." According to biographer Kenneth Slawenski, the story is “widely considered one of the finest literary pieces to result from the Second World War. Author Paul Alexander calls it a "minor masterpiece".When Salinger submitted the story to The New Yorker in late 1949, it was at first returned, and he then reedited his manuscript, shortening it by six pages.
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date of publication: 1950
published in: Nine Stories