J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye (1951) is a twentieth-century classic. Despite being one of the most frequently banned books in America, generations of readers have identified with the narrator, Holden Caulfield, an angry young man who articulates the confusion, cynicism and vulnerability of adolescence with humour and sincerity.
This guide to Salinger’s provocative novel offers:
- an accessible introduction to the text and contexts of The Catcher in the Rye
- a critical history, surveying the many interpretations of the text from publication to the present
- a selection of new critical essays on the The Catcher in the Rye, by Sally Robinson, Renee R. Curry, Denis Jonnes, Livia Hekanaho and Clive Baldwin, providing a range of perspectives on the novel and extending the coverage of key critical approaches identified in the survey section
- cross-references between sections of the guide, in order to suggest links between texts, contexts and criticism
- suggestions for further reading.
Part of the Routledge Guides to Literature series, this volume is essential reading for all those beginning detailed study of The Catcher in the Rye and seeking not only a guide to the novel, but a way through the wealth of contextual and critical material that surrounds Salinger’s text.
Table of Contents
Introduction Part 1: Texts and Contexts Salinger: Life and Works. Post-War America: Society and Culture. Catcher and Censorship. The Catcher in the Rye: Detailed Discussion Part 2: Critical History Unbalanced as a Rooster on a Tightrope: Reviews on Publication. One of the Loneliest Characters in Fiction': The First Wave of Criticism (1950s and 60s). Poised Between Two Worlds: Criticism of the 1970s and 80s. 'A Classic American Hero?: Criticism from the 1990s to the Present Part 3: Critical Readings Masculine Protest in the Catcher in the Rye Sally Robinson Holden Caulfield is not a Person of Colour Renee R. Curry Queering Catcher: Flits, Straights and other Morons Pia Livia Hekanaho Trauma, Mourning and Self-(Re)Fashioning in The Catcher in the Rye. Dennis Jonnes Digressing from the Point: Holden Caulfield's Women Clive Baldwin Part 4: Further Reading and Web Resources
Sarah Graham is a lecturer in American literature at the University of Leicester. She is particularly interested in 20th century American novels and poetry, especially in relation to sexuality, gender and trauma theory.