Joseph Heller (1923-1999)
- Born in 1923 in Brooklyn, New York, the son of a truckdriver.
- Married twice; two children from his first marriage.
- Attended University of Southern California and New York University. Received B.A.
from the latter in 1948 and M.A. from Columbia University in 1949. Pursued graduate
study at Oxford University, 1949-50.
- Served in the U. S. Army Air Forces in World War II as a B-25 wing bombardier; flew
sixty missions; became first lieutenant.
- Worked for Time, Look, and McCall's magazines during the
- Taught at several universities during the 1960s and 1970s from Yale University and
Pennsylvania State University to the City College of the City University of New York,
where he was a Distinguished Professor of English until 1975.
- Began writing full-time in 1975.
Novels and Autobiography
Catch 22 (1961)
Something Happened (1966)
Good as Gold (1979)
God Knows (1984)
No Laughing Matter (with Speed Vogal) (1986)
Picture This (1988)
Closing Time (1994)
We Bombed in New Haven (1967)
Catch 22: A Dramatization (1971)
Clevenger's Trial (1973)
Sex and the Single Girl (with David r. Schwartz) (1964)
Casino Royale (uncredited) (1967)
Dirty Dingus Magee (1970)
Critical Sources and Reviews
- Biographical and critical information in multiple volumes of the following Gale
publications: Contemporary Literary Criticism, including CLC 1, 1973; 3, 1975; 5,
1976; 8, 1978; 11, 1979; 36, 1986; 63, 1991; and Dictionary of Literary Biography,
Vol. 2: American Novelists since World War II, Gale, 1978. Gale Literary
Database (Contemporary Authors) can be accessed online through a subscribing
library at www.galenet.com.
- Other printed resources include:
(Specific studies of Catch 22)
Kiley, Frederick and Walter McDonald, eds., A Catch-22 Casebook, 1973
Nagel, James, ed. Critical Essays on Catch-22, 1974
Scotto, Robert M., ed. A Critical Edition of Catch-22, 1973
(Heller's place in American fiction)
Aichinger, Peter, The American Soldier in Fiction, 1880-1963)
American Novels of the Second World War, 1969
Bier, Jesse, The Rise and Fall of American Humor, 1968
Friedman, Bruce Jay, ed., Black Humor, 1965
Harris, Charles B. Contemporary American Novelists of the Absurd
Hauck, Richard Boyd, A Cheerful Nihilism: Confidence and the Absurd in American
Humorous Fiction, 1971
Miller, Wayne Charles, An Armed America, Its Face in Fiction: A History of the
American Military Novel, 1970
Olderman, Raymond M., Beyond the Wasteland: The American Novel in the Nineteen-Sixties,
Potts, Stephen W,, From Here to Absurdity: The Moral Battlefields of Joseph Heller,
Whitbread, Thomas B., ed., Seven Contemporary Authors, 1966
- Some reviews of Catch-22:
- Atlantic Monthly, January 1962
- New Republic, November 13, 1961
- New Yorker, December 9, 1961
- New York Times Book Review, October 22, 1961
- Saturday Review, October 14, 1961
- Useful online reviews available in the New York
Times Books Archive:
- Reviews of Closing Time (1994 sequel to Catch-22); September 22, 1994
(Christopher Lehmann-Haupt); September 25, 1994 (William H. Pritchard).
Retired Discussion Series