Vol. 1, Ep. 1 "A Perfect Day" (2007)
What’s a Bananafish? (Episode 1)
"A Perfect Day for Bananafish" is a short story by J. D. Salinger, originally published in the January 31, 1948 issue of The New Yorker. It was anthologized in 1949's 55 Short Stories from the New Yorker as well as in Salinger's 1953 collection, Nine Stories. It is the first of Salinger's stories to feature the fictional Glass family, and follows Seymour Glass on his Florida honeymoon.
The story, which was originally titled "A Fine Day for Bananafish," was an important one in Salinger's career. The august New Yorker, which at the time had only published one of Salinger's stories, accepted "Bananafish" for publication immediately and, because of its "singular quality," signed the author to a contract giving them right of first refusal on any future short stories. Upon its publication, "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" was met with immediate acclaim; according to Salinger biographer Paul Alexander, it was "the story that would permanently change his standing in the literary community."
It details a day spent by Seymour Glass on the beach, as his wife Muriel talks to her mother about Seymour and the results of his psychoanalysis. It is widely praised for its depiction of the shell-shocked non-conformist Seymour, as he fails to conform to life post-war but connects and tells a story of the bananafish to a four-year-old girl named Sybil. In the much-discussed and analyzed ending, he then returns to his room, where he commits suicide with his wife sleeping in the bed next to him.