Here’s a great post on the Hayden’s Ferry Review blog about the evolution of the covers of J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye. Does it need to be said that eventually, Salinger exerted strong control over the images (lack of) on the covers of his books?
But if you’ve never seen the initial paperback (I have a copy!), with the overwrought jacket copy, “This unusual book may shock you, will make you laugh, and may break your heart—but you will never forget it,” do check it out. Looks like Holden Caulfield by way of Sam Spade.
And I had never seen the British edition, with Holden watching Phoebe run toward the carousel horse. Hmm…something to watch for at the local used bookstore. Confession: I check under “Sal” in the novel section in every used bookstore I go in—on the off-chance that I discover one of those rare, first editions that magically escaped the notice of the owner!