Joyce Maynard


Biography of Joyce Maynard

Daphne Joyce Maynard (born November 5, 1953) is an American author known for writing with candor about her life, as well as for her works of fiction and hundreds of essays and newspaper columns, often about parenting and family. The 1998 publication of her memoir, At Home in the World, made her the object of intense criticism among some members of the literary world for having revealed the story of the relationship she had with author J. D. Salinger when he was 53 and she was 18. Maynard is the mother of actor Wilson Bethel.

Maynard grew up in Durham, New Hampshire, daughter of the Canadian painter Max Maynard and writer Fredelle Maynard. Her mother was Jewish (daughter of Russian-born immigrants) and her father was Christian. She attended the Oyster River School District and Phillips Exeter Academy. She won early recognition for her writing from The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, winning student writing prizes in 1966, 1967, 1968, 1970, and 1971. While in her teens, she wrote regularly for Seventeen magazine. She entered Yale University in 1971 and sent a collection of her writings to the editors of The New York Times Magazine. They asked her to write an article for them, which was published as "An Eighteen Year Old Looks Back on Life" in the magazine's April 23, 1972 issue. The article prompted a letter from J. D. Salinger, then 53 years old, who complimented her writing and warned her of the dangers of publicity.

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