The Catcher in the Rye, the iconic 1951 coming-of-age novel by J.D. Salinger, is one of the best-known novels about private schools. Much of the world of Holden Caulfield, the book's somewhat unreliable narrator who fails out of a Pennsylvania private school and makes his way back to New York City to connect with girls from his past, is drawn from the childhood of J.D. Salinger, its reclusive author. Before he wrote Catcher and shortly thereafter removed himself to a secluded life in New Hampshire, Salinger attended a New York City private school where, like Holden, he was the manager of the fencing team. He then attended a Pennsylvania boarding school where he began to write stories under the covers at night. Read more about how Salinger drew on his own childhood to write The Catcher in the Rye.
Photo: J.D. Salinger reads from The Catcher in the Rye in 1952/San Diego Historical Society, Hulton Archive/Getty Images