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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


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,

99 Novels,

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

Nine Stories


has been recorded but does not include the last four sentences. Book

fine, bright, unrestored dust jacket near-fine.