Yossarian, the central character in Joseph Heller’s “Catch-22,” was not Jewish, the author wrote in a 40-year-old letter.
As a rule, a novel speaks for itself and its author, but when it comes to Joseph Heller, we are privileged to have an especially intimate source of information about his life and work.
When you write a book-length study of a living author lots of things can happen; most of them are bad.
"You've missed a nuance here, a shading there," some will point out, in the iciest language possible, while others go straight to the jugular and angrily insist that you don't know beans about their work.
Joseph Heller, who passed away Dec. 13 at the age of 76, was a wonderful exception.