Joseph Heller was born in 1923 in Brooklyn, New York. He served as a bombardier in the Second World War and then attended New York University, Columbia, and Oxford University, the last on a Fulbright scholarship. He taught for two years at Pennsylvania State University, before returning to New York, where he began a successful career in the advertising departments of Time, Look, and McCall's magazines. It was during this time that he had the idea for Catch-22. Working on the novel in spare moments and evenings at home, it took him eight years to complete and was first published in 1961. His second novel, Something Happened, was published in 1974, Good As Gold in 1979 and Closing Time in 1994. He is also the author of the play We Bombed in New Haven. Joseph Heller died in 1999.
"Vulgarly, savagely, bitterly funny . . . A dazzling
--THE NEW YORK TIMES
"An extraordinary book . . . of enormous richness and art, of
deep thought and brilliant writing."
--THE SPECTATOR "Below its hilarity, so wild that it hurts, Catch-22 is the strongest repudiation of our civilization, in fiction, to come out of World War II."
--THE NATION "An original. There's no book like it anyone has read . . . Heller is carrying his reader on a more consistent voyage through Hell than any American writer before him."
--Norman Mailer "Explosive, subversive, brilliant . . . One of the most bitterly funny books in the language."
--THE NEW REPUBLIC