A presentation copy of JD Salinger’s magnum opus, The Catcher in the Rye (1951), is valued at $35,000-50,000 ahead of a sale at Sotheby’s.
The book is made out to Mary Miller, the niece of his old friend Joyce Miller.
Salinger's Catcher in the Rye is the quintessential coming of age novel
He and Joyce met while she was working at The New Yorker during the late 1940s. They became close, corresponding regularly over the years.
In 1976, he sent a copy of his book to Mary at Joyce’s request.
It’s inscribed: "Dear Mary, My very dear and inveterate friend and comrade, your loving Aunt Joyce, gamest and fairest of passengers who used to cruise in post-war Buicks through White Plains on hot summer nights, tells me you're a marvelous girl, and I want you to know that I most ardently join with her in wishing you, first, a happy graduation day, and secondly, a gorgeously peaceful, blissful, useful life, on whatever terms suit you down to the ground.
"Most sincerely, J. D. Salinger. Cornish, N. H., June 13, 1976."
Salinger was famously reclusive and very rarely signed copies of his books. Inscribed copies are almost unheard of.
The sale will also feature nine letters from Salinger to Joyce, which are offered with an estimate of $25,000-35,000.
The set includes his letter agreeing to inscribe the aforementioned book to Mary: "Years and years ago, I more or less swore off writing my name in books with little vacuous phrases tacked on in front, like 'with all good wishes' or 'Yours till Niagara Falls,' etc., and it's such empty and awful buckaroo to inscribe strangers books anyway.
“But then I said, if this is a well-loved niece of yours, this young Onandaga (pretty funny name for a girl, though, I must say), and if you promise not to grown any more well-loved nieces, I'll accommodate you, Madam. Gladly."
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