J.D. Salinger’s only full-length novel, The Catcher in the Rye, was published on July 16, 1951 by Little, Brown.
Since its publication, Salinger’s novel has been credited for being extremely controversial while simultaneously having mass appeal – not an easy feat. In the past few decades, The Catcher in the Rye has been banned and then reinstated in many high school curricula due to vulgar language, sexual situations, blasphemy, encouragement of rebellion, use of drugs, and underage drinking, etc.
Due to the novel’s treatment of issues surrounding individuality, disillusionment, isolation and other complex but common adolescent themes, The Catcher in the Rye has become immensely popular among young people. The protagonist, Holden Caulfield, has become somewhat of a symbol for rebellion, thus the appeal of the novel to teenage readers. The Catcher in the Rye is regarded as one of the best novels of the 20th century and over 65 million copies have been sold worldwide.