The Catcher in the Rye published 62 years ago today.

JD_SalingerOn this day (16th July) in 1951 the book, The Catcher in the Rye was first published. Its author, J.D. Salinger said in an interview that it was “sort of” autobiographical. The novel is narrated by the central character of 17 year old Holden Caulfield, who is expelled from his elite private school and spends two days wandering around New York. The writing style makes it feel as though Holden is actually talking to you and this style as well as the character of the disillusioned teenager was rather new at the time though it has since become quite a familar trope.

The book has recieved both critical acclaim and condemnation. It has been banned many times for its use of profanities, blasphemy and for discussing sex and prostitution. It has been likened to Mark Twain’s, The Adventures of Huckelberry Finn. 

Salinger became disenchanted with the fame that Catcher brought and moved from New York to Cornish, New Hampshire in 1953 in an attempt to withdraw from the limelight. He continued to write regularly and published some short stories and novellas but never published another novel. His other stories include, Franny and Zooey, Raise High the Roof Beams, Carpenters and For Esmé – with Love and Squalor and Other Stories.

We have some of Salinger’s work available in the library including The Catcher in the Rye. Have a look at what the First Tuesday Book Club panelists thought of the book HERE.

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