July 16, 1951: The Catcher in the Rye is Published
On this day in 1951, J.D. Salinger’s novel, The Catcher in the Rye, was published. The novel tells the story of 16-year-old Holden Caulfield, a troubled character who challenged 1950s conformity, much like Salinger himself.
Due to its somewhat rebellious tone, Salinger’s work has been linked to issues of controversy and censorship. Even so, over 60 years later, The Catcher in the Rye has sold over 65 million copies and continues to sell an additional 500,000 each year.
Learn about the novel’s path to publication with American Masters’ J. D. Salinger infographic.
Photo: A 1951 copy of J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye (Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress).