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James Salter Biography

(1923– ), The Hunters, The Arm of Flesh, A Sport and a Pastime, Solo Faces, Light Years

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American novelist, born in New York City, educated at Georgetown University and West Point Military Academy; he then served in the United States Air Force for twelve years. He lived briefly in France and numbers modern French writers such as André Gide and Jean Genet among those who have influenced his own writing. Salter's fiction arises very much out of his own experiences; his first two novels, The Hunters (1956) and The Arm of Flesh (1961), reflect his Air Force years while both A Sport and a Pastime (1967) and Solo Faces (1979) draw upon his familiarity with France. Light Years (1975) contains some of his most effective impressionistic prose. Salter has enjoyed neither commercial nor academic success but his writings have been highly praised by contemporary novelists such as Saul Bellow, Graham Greene, John Irving, and Irwin Shaw.

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