Book SignedJ. D. Salinger. Signed Junior High Yearbook . Possibly the most important J.D. Salinger piece ever to come to market, as it is Salinger’s only yearbook from the same age as Holden ever recorded as coming to market. It contains the only known handwriting of Salinger at the age of Holden, and the only known photo of Salinger at the age of Holden. “The Catcher in the Rye” is the story of Holden Caulfield, a troubled youth in his junior year of boarding school, closely biographically related to the adolescent years of its famous author. No copy of this Junior yearbook has ever come on market. The Crossed Sabres, Valley Forge Military Academy. Wayne, PA: 1935. Signed “Jerome Salinger”, pg. 139. He is named pictured at least 4 more times throughout the book; most clearly on pgs. 170-171 as a member of the drama club.
J.D. Salinger became famous for The Catcher in the Rye’s sublime expression of adolescence. The crisis of Salinger’s young protagonist, Holden, occurs in his Junior boarding school year, when yet another expulsion causes the young man release his fragile hold on normality, and “go madman” on the streets of New York. Biographers suggest Holden’s character is formed from Salinger’s real experience. Salinger had in fact been expelled from school, his final report declaring him “hard hit by adolescence” as he entered Valley Forge Military Academy in 1934. Like Holden, he was a junior and remained aloof while paradoxically heavily involved in extracurriculars. This Crossed Sabres Yearbook for the 1934-35 year, the first we have seen come to market, shows Salinger as a member of “B” Company, the Second Class, Glee Club, the Non-Commissioned Officers’ Club, and the Mask and Spur Drama Club. It is the first picture of Salinger we have seen at the age of Holden and also the first time we have seen him sign his name at the same age as Holden. He writes “Jerome Salinger” next to the Class Will’s printed commentary on his theatrical acumen, “To Salinger, the Sublime, we leave a bass voice so that he may play the “big, bad wolf” in a blood-curdling melodrama.” Black leatherette covers, 220 pages. Gilt crest to cover and gilt spine title lightly rubbed. Knicks and scuffs, few smudges internally. In very good condition. At this age, Salinger’s handwriting is virtually unknown. It is only the second oldest examples of his photograph and handwriting we have ever seen (the oldest are part of your collection, his note from 1932 on the color “yellow” and his eighth grade photo). Only one signed copy of his Senior High school yearbook has come on the market. This signed Junior yearbook portrays Salinger for the first time at exactly the age of Holden Caulfield.