[J.D.] Salinger contacted her after Maynard, at age 18, appeared on the cover of the New York Times Magazine wearing jeans and red sneakers. Long straight hair and bangs, large eyes and lanky arms added to her waif-like appearance.Here's that old cover story, from 1972. Excerpt:
Maynard called her cover story "An 18-Year-Old Looks Back On Life." Some 25 years later, she published her memoir, At Home in the World, which explores the Salinger relationship in riveting detail.
I had never taken Women's Liberation very seriously. Partly it was the looks of the movement that bothered me. I believed in all the right things, but just as my social conscience evaporated at the prospect of roughing it in some tiny village with the Peace Corps, so my feminist notions disappeared at the thought of giving up eye liner (just when I'd discovered it). Media-vulnerable, I wanted to be on the side of the beautiful, graceful people, and Women's Libbers seemed--except for Gloria Steinem, who was just emerging--plain and graceless. Women's Lib was still new and foreign, suggesting--to kids at an age of still-undefined sexuality--things like lesbianism and bisexuality. (We hadn't mastered one--how could we cope with the possibility of two?)And here's what the cover looked like — what J.D. Salinger saw:
Besides, male chauvinism had no reality for me. In my family--two girls and two girl- loving parents--females occupied a privileged position. My mother and sister and I had no trouble getting equal status in our household. At school, too, girls seemed never to be discriminated against. (I wonder if I'd see things differently, going back there now.) Our class was run mostly by girls. The boys played soccer and sometimes held office on the student council--amiable figureheads--but it was the girls whose names filled the honor roll and the girls who ran class meetings. While I would never be Homecoming Sweetheart--I knew that--I had power in the school.