Sunday, January 1, 2017

Birthday Book of the Day: Salinger's Catcher in the Rye, 1st edition


Today is the 98th birthday of Jerome David Salinger (1919-2010). Henry Bemis Books is celebrating by offering its first edition copy of Catcher in the Rye for sale. It is the hardcover edition, with the original dustjacket. 277 pp.

Here is the story of the book, as told by Garrison Keillor at The Writer’s Almanac:

J.D. Salinger’s novel The Catcher in the Rye was published on this date in 1951. It is Salinger’s only novel. It’s one of the most banned books in American history. It’s also one of the most frequently taught in high schools, even though Salinger didn’t intend the book for teenage readers. Holden Caulfield, the book’s protagonist, is a prep school boy from New York City, and he addresses the reader directly. The novel 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.”
Salinger had thought about Holden Caulfield for years. He carried six Caulfield stories with him when he went off to fight in World War II. The stories were with Salinger on the beach at Normandy and in Nazi concentration camps. They were with him in the hours he spent with Ernest Hemingway in Paris. By the time Salinger began to assemble the novel The Catcher in the Rye, he had nine stories about Holden and his family.
When he finished the manuscript, Salinger sent it to publisher Robert Giroux at Harcourt, Brace. Giroux was impressed with the book, and was pleased to be its editor, but he never thought it would be a best-seller. Giroux sent the book to his boss, Eugene Reynal. Reynal didn’t really get it, and sent it to a textbook editor for his opinion, since it was about a prep-school boy. The textbook editor didn’t like it, so Harcourt, Brace would not publish it. Rival house Little, Brown picked it up right away, and Robert Giroux quit his job and went to work for Farrar, Straus instead. Reviewers called the book “brilliant,” “funny,” and “meaningful.” Salinger couldn’t cope with the amount of publicity and celebrity the book gave him. He moved to a hilltop home in New Hampshire and lived the rest of his life in seclusion. Many directors approached Salinger over the years, hoping to obtain the movie rights, and Salinger turned them all down.
Henry Bemis Books’ copy of Catcher is a true first edition, denominated as such on the copyright page. The dust jacket is complete, though with a small tear at the front bottom of the spine, removing the “wn” from Brown. The back of the dust jacket is separated along the spine.

The copy bears all the first edition points, and has no signatures or markings. The end papers have some browning from the dust jacket. The text block, hard cover and binding is in very good condition.

Advantageously priced, this is a truly rare collecting opportunity.

Henry Bemis Books is offering this first edition copy of The Catcher in the Rye for $900, or best offer.

Henry Bemis Books is one man’s attempt to bring more diversity and quality to a Charlotte-Mecklenburg market of devoted readers starved for choices. Henry Bemis Books is also happy to entertain reasonable offers on items in inventory. Shipping is always free; local buyers are welcome to drop by and pick up their purchases at our location off Peachtree Road in Northwest Charlotte if they like. #RareBooks #HenryBemisBooks #JDSalinger #TheCatcherintheRye #FirstEdition

No comments:

Post a Comment

We enjoy hearing from visitors! Please leave your questions, thoughts, wish lists, or whatever else is on your mind.