JD Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye may have once been edgy, coming-of-age literature, but does it deserve a place in today's curricula? It's time to retire Holden Caulfield, argues Anne Trubek in Good magazine. "Salinger’s novel lacks the currency or shock value it once had," she says. "But it is still ubiquitously taught even though many newer novels of adolescence are available."
Despite poor reviews from notable critics such as Joan Didion, teachers in the 1960s chose Catcher as a "relatable" alternative to dusty tomes such as David Copperfield, thus creating the "Salinger Industry." Today, young-adult authors still suffer comparisons. "After half a century of new, equally 'relatable' coming-of-age-stories," asks Trubek, "don’t some of Holden’s younger siblings deserve the end-of-the-year spot in sophomore English?