Renny’s Review

Franny and Zooey


Beyond J.D. Salinger’s Holden Caulfield, Salinger published numerous other novels and short stories, and even combined the two genres. J.D. Salinger’s 1961 New York Times publication Franny and Zooey artfully integrates two characters, siblings Franny and Zooey Glass through a short story and a following novel. The story begins with Lane Coutell, an Ivy-League educated intellectual waiting for the arrival of his long-distance romantic partner, Franny Glass, an East Coast women’s college student.

The short story “Franny” chronicles their reunion at a restaurant before the big football game. The most intriguing aspect of Salinger’s writing has to be his ability to provide prolific detail into the dialogue, emotions, and dynamic between the two characters. Their exchange provides great insight into the culture of pretentiousness and intellect in university settings, and the nature of their intricate affair.  

The plot of “Zooey” explicates the familial relationship between Franny, her brother Zooey, and their four other siblings. Similar to “Franny,” “Zooey” is comprised of an interaction between Zooey Glass and his mother, Betty. They discuss an array of topics spanning from zen Buddhism to adulthood to the former child stardom of the Glass children.  

Salinger possesses the unique ability to create a family within two separate texts, developing characters exhibiting exceptional intuition, curiosity, and opinion. Franny and Zooey phenomenally incorporates the reader into the life of the Glass family and does so with significant comedy and spectacle.