Joseph Heller

Joseph Heller

(1923 - 1999)

Joseph Heller flew sixty missions over France and Italy while serving in the Air Force during World War II, an experience that informed his novel Catch-22. Originally titled Catch-18, the book was renamed after it was discovered that Leon Uris’ novel, also to be published in 1961, was called Mila 18. After publishing four more novels in the 1970s and 1980s, among them Something Happened, Heller said in 1993, “When I read something saying I’ve not done anything as good as Catch-22, I’m tempted to reply, ‘Who has?’ ”

All Writing


“I don’t believe in miracles, because it’s been a long time since we’ve had any,” Joseph Heller said in an interview in 1988. Some sixteen hundred years earlier, St. Augustine had written, “Men say, ‘Why do not the miracles, which you talk about as having been worked, take place now?’ I might indeed reply that they were necessary before the world believed for the very purpose of making it believe.”

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