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J D Salinger was born in 1919. He grew up in New York City, and wrote short stories from an early age, but his breakthrough came in 1948 with the publication in The New Yorker of 'A Perfect Day for Bananafish'. The Catcher in the Rye was his first and only novel, published in 1951. It remains one of the most translated, taught and reprinted texts, and has sold some 65 million copies. It was followed by three other books of short stories and novellas, the most recent of which was published in 1963. He died in January 2010.
A great teenage classic since its first publication in 1951, The Catcher in the Rye is now 60 years old. Holden Caulfield is the ultimate outsider; he is expelled from school, falls out with his friends and finally suffers a nervous breakdown. The book is a scathing attack on American society in the 1950’s seen through the eyes of one the most fascinating central characters ever created. Originally banned because of liberal use of profanity and powerful portrayal of teenage angst, The Catcher In The Rye has now been deemed essential reading for growing-up. Shortlisted for the 2009 Penguin Orange Readers' Group Book of the Year.