The AP states: "He had lived for decades in self-imposed isolation in the small, remote house in Cornish, N. H."
I always find media statements like that rather odd. I heard the late Paul Harvey state that Barbara Streisand had agoraphobia. He stated that she hid behind closed doors and was afraid to leave her home. Famous people are stalked, hounded and bothered. Naturally they are going to shy away from the privacy-invading public. It doesn't necessarily make them hermits or agoraphobics. At the same time, Salinger openly admitted that he cherished his privacy. So do I, yet I am not afraid of getting out. So, let's move on.
Salinger's only successful novel, The Catcher in the Rye, was published in 1951 and gradually achieved a status of fame which he chose not to participate in. That book became a coming of age story for many an adolescent and disgruntled youth. The Catcher in the Rye with its immortal teenage protagonist - the twisted, rebellious Holden Caulfield - came out during the time of anxious, Cold War conformity. Salinger wrote for adults, but teenagers all over the world identified with the novel's themes of alienation, innocence and fantasy.
In later years, Salinger become famous for not wanting to be famous, refusing interviews. If you might wonder why he chose solitude, check out a pursuer of the famed author who searched him out. Actually, to his credit, the literary afficiado did not disturb Mr. Salinger. Nonetheless, many before him have. Let us leave Salinger's memory to the ages. His literary contribution stands for itself.