J. D. Salinger's 1951 novel, "The Catcher in the Rye", is the definitive coming-of-age novel and one of the most controversial, and successful, books of post-war America. Holden Caulfield remains one of the most famous characters in modern literature and has been a favourite for generations of students. This jargon-free study opens up ways of thinking about the novel, both in terms of wider context but also in close analysis. This introduction to the text is the ideal companion to study, offering guidance on: Literary and historical context; Language, style and form; Reading "The Catcher in the Rye"; Critical reception and publishing history; Adaptation and interpretation; and Further reading. "Continuum Reader's Guides" are clear, concise and accessible introductions to key texts in literature and philosophy. Each book explores the themes, context, criticism and influence of key works, providing a practical introduction to close reading, guiding students towards a thorough understanding of the text. They provide an essential, up-to-date resource, ideal for undergraduate students.
Sarah Graham is Lecturer in the Department of English and the Centre for American Studies at the University of Leicester. Her publications include The Catcher in the Rye in the Routledge Guides to Twentieth Century Literature series (2006).