A Great Modern Rarity: Stunning First Issue, Review Copy
Of Salinger’s Classic, With An Extraordinary Unrecorded
Broadside In Which Salinger Reveals Personal Feelings About
His Disappointment That Children Will Not Read It
74. SALINGER, J.D.
The Catcher in the Rye.
Boston, 1951. Octavo, origi-
nal black cloth, dust jacket, custom chemise and half morocco slipcase.
First edition of Salinger’s first book, in first-issue dust jacket with photo-
graph of Salinger on the back panel. With review slip and Salinger broad-
side laid in. A lovely copy.
The most banned book in America during the
decades that followed its publication, The Catcher in the Rye has long
been reviled for the same profanity, immorality and antisocial sentiments
that have made it a favorite with generations of teenagers.
“This novel is a key-work of the nineteen-fifties in that the theme of
youthful rebellion is first adumbrated in it, though the hero, Holden
Caulfield, is more a gentle voice of protest, unprevailing in the noise,
than a militant world-changer…
The Catcher in the Rye
was a symptom
of a need, after a ghastly war and during a ghastly pseudo-peace, for
the young to raise a voice of protest against the failures of the adult
world” (Anthony Burgess,
53–4). Laid in to this copy is a
review slip headed “To the Literary Editor.” In addition, this copy
includes an unrecorded mimeographed 1951 broadside from the Little,
Brown publicity department that reads, in part: “In J. D. Salinger’s own
words: Born in New York City, in 1919… I’d like to say who my favorite
fiction writers are, but I don’t see how I can do it without saying why
they are. So I won’t. I’m aware that a number of my friends will be sad-
dened, or shocked, or shocked-saddened, over some of the chapters of
THE CATCHER IN THE RYE. Some of my best friends are children.
In fact, all of my best friends are children. It’s almost unbearable to me
to realize that my book will be kept on a shelf out of their reach.” A 1953
printing of this broadside (coinciding with publication of
has been recorded but does not include the last four sentences. Book
fine, bright, unrestored dust jacket near-fine.