First Edition of The Catcher In The Rye; Inscribed and dated by J.D. Salinger
The Catcher In The Rye.
Item Number: 32051
Boston: Little Brown and Company, 1951.
First edition of the author’s first book. Octavo, original black cloth. Inscribed by the author opposite the title page, “To Ned Thompson with all good wishes J.D. Salinger Windsor, VT Nov. 5, 1961.” Lightly rubbed, near fine in a bright near fine dust jacket with some toning to the spine and some minor rubbing. Salinger’s signature is scarce and signed copies of Catcher in the Rye are rare; signed firsts are exceptionally scarce. Until Salinger died in 2010, we had not seen a signed first printing of The Catcher in the Rye since the Phoenix Book Shop sold one from Howard Moss’s library in 1984 — a span of more than a quarter century. Housed in a custom clamshell box.
Since his debut in 1951 as The Catcher In the Rye, Holden Caulfield has been synonymous with "cynical adolescent." Holden narrates the story of a couple of days in his sixteen-year-old life, just after he's been expelled from prep school, in a slang that sounds edgy even today and keeps this novel on banned book lists. It begins,"If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. In the first place, that stuff bores me, and in the second place, my parents would have about two hemorrhages apiece if I told anything pretty personal about them."