Added July 19, 2014
  • Zooey
  • J.D. Salinger,
  • New Yorker Magazine, New York, May 4, 1957

Many people think that Zooey is Salinger’s finest work — certainly one of his finest.

Salinger incorporates Zen Buddhism and Eastern religious philosophy all throughout this brilliant novella involving members of Salinger’s fictitious Glass family.

This New Yorker magazine is the true first printing of the story, which would later come out in book form as the classic pairing  Franny and Zooey, published by Little, Brown and Company in 1961. This copy is in unusually fine condition, with just the slightest bruising to the corners. There is no fold mark or address label from mailing, and the colours are almost as sharp as new.

Not bad for a fifty-odd year old magazine!

There are only two copies for sale today on the web. One has significant condition problems. It has a loose cover, fold marks, moderate page tanning and corner wear. zooey-new_-yorker-story_ The other, at $450, is better overall, but has an interior illustration torn out, heavy spine wear, and the typical centre fold from mailing.

Considering its condition, I would value this copy at about $750 today.

These old New Yorkers can sometimes be found on eBay for slightly lower prices, but be vigilant about your questions before bidding. Check the seller’s feedback rating, and don’t hesitate to find out how the magazine will be packed and shipped.

If the seller doesn’t normally deal with books and magazines, you might want to suggest proper packing and shipping methods. Basically, you want your magazine to be protected from damage, including bending, crushing, and moisture. Also, it can be worth it to pay more for speedier shipping; the idea being, the less time in transit, the better.

Aa always, ask for clear photos of these older magazines if you decide to buy on-line. zooey-new_-yorker-back_-cover_ Ask the seller to flip carefully through the pages to assure that there is nothing cut or torn out. Some time back I saw this exact magazine for sale on-line for dirt cheap. It was listed as bright and clean, with only some very ubiquitous and minor condition issues, but not until I asked did the seller disclose that the last two pages of the story had been torn out!

Interest in Salinger is still on the rise. With a documentary just released and the promise of new works being published by his heirs, I think we will see prices for these magazines continue to rise.

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