Catch As Catch Can

Catch As Catch Can

The Collected Stories and Other Writings

Years before the publication of Catch-22 ("A monumental artifact of contemporary literature" -- The New York Times; "An apocalyptic masterpiece" -- Chicago Sun-Times; "One of the most bitterly funny works in the language" -- The New Republic), Joseph Heller began sharpening his skills as a writer, searching for the voice that would best express his own peculiarly wry view of the world.
In Catch As Catch Can, editors Matthew J. Bruccoli and Park Bucker have for the first time collected the short stories Heller published prior to that first novel, along with all the other short pieces of fiction and nonfiction that were published during his lifetime. Also included are five previously unpublished short stories, most reflecting the influence on Heller of urban naturalist writers such as Irwin Shaw and Nelson Algren.
The result is an important and significant addition to our understanding and appreciation of Joseph Heller, showing his evolution as a writer and artist. For those unfamiliar with his work, it will serve as an excellent introduction; for everyone else, Catch As Catch Can is a chance to explore a new aspect of Heller's remarkable career.
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 352 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780743257930 | 
  • March 2004
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One: I DON'T LOVE YOU ANY MORE

Joseph Heller is twenty-two years old, born and educated in Brooklyn, New York, and, after three years of service in the Air Corps, is planning to enter the University of Southern California. He says, "I was stationed on the Island of Corsica with a B-25 squadron of the Twelfth Air Force and flew sixty combat missions as a bombardier, earning the Air Medal with seven oak-leaf clusters and a Presidential Unit Citation. I was discharged from the Army in June under the point system and have been comfortably rehabilitating myself ever since. At present, I am busy trying to get a play... see more

About the Author

Joseph Heller
Photo Credit: Jerry Bauer

Joseph Heller

Joseph Heller was born in Brooklyn in 1923. In 1961, he published Catch-22, which became a bestseller and, in 1970, a film. He went on to write such novels as Good as Gold, God Knows, Picture This, Closing Time (the sequel to Catch-22), and Portrait of an Artist, as an Old Man. Heller died in December 1999.

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