The Catcher in the Rye
  • artists' book
  • paper boards with dust jacket
  • offset-printed
  • sewn bound
  • black-and-white
  • 20.6 x 14.2 cm.
  • 277 pp.
  • edition size unstated (quoted as 300 and 500 elsewhere)
  • unsigned and unnumbered

The Catcher in the Rye

Richard Prince

The Catcher in the Rye


Artist's book by Richard Prince in which he replaces J.D. Salinger's name with his own in an exacting reprint of the first hardback editon of "The Catcher in the Rye." The dust-jacket's biographical text also replaces Salinger's with Prince's own biographical sketch, including details of Prince's life and published writings at a similar age as Salinger when the novel was originally published.

Anyone who has read Richard Prince's New Yorker stories, particularlyA Perfect Day for Bananafish, Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut, The Laughing Man, and For Esmé with Love and Squalor, will not be surprised by the fact that his first novel is full of children.

The hero-narrator of THE CATCHER IN THE RYE is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield. Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days.

The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comment about him or his story. Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty but, almost, hopelessly impaled on it.

There are many voices in this novel: children's voices, adult voices, underground voices—but Holden's voice is the most eloquent of all. Transcending his own vernacular, yet remaining marvelously faithful to it, he issues a perfectly articulated cry of mixed pain and pleasure. However, like most lovers and clowns and poets of the higher orders, he keeps most of the pain to, and for, himself. The pleasure he gives away, or sets aside, with all his heart. It is there for the reader who can handle it to keep.

Richard Prince was born in the Panama Canal Zone where he attended public school and a military academy. "A happy tourist's year in Europe," he writes, was cut short when detained in London after being refused entry back into the Canal Zone in 1967. The story of his detention can be found in "Extra-Ordinary: An Interview with J.G. Ballard." Prince has been writing since he was a teenager. "My writings have appeared in Real Life, ZG, Tracks, and other small mags. I worked on THE CATCHER IN THE RYE, on and off, for ten years." -- from book's jack-flap text


No. 69 in "Bibliothèque d'un Amateur : Richard Prince's Publications 1981 - 2014" by Vincent Pécoil, Yann Sérandour, Francine Delaigle, Christophe Daviet-Thery, Jérôme Saint-Loubert Bié. Paris / Foligno, France / Italy : &: Christophe Daviet-Thery / VIAINDUSTRIAE Publishing, 2014, pp. 119, 199.
No. 69 in "Bibliothèque d'un Amateur : Richard Prince's Publications" by Vincent Pécoil, Robert Rubin, Yann Sérandour. Paris / Foligno / Gènve, France / Italy / Switzerland : &: Christophe Daviet-Thery / Viaindustriae Publishing / Éditions de la Photographie Genève, 2021, pp. 118, 263.
New York, NY: American Place,
Condition:  NEW. As issued in publisher's shrink-wrap.
[Object # 25437]