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  • Sold Date: Aug 04, 2011
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Joseph Heller (May 1, 1923 – December 12, 1999) was an American satirical novelist , short story writer and playwright. His best known work is Catch-22 , a novel about American servicemen during World War II . The title of this work entered the English lexicon to refer to absurd, no-win choices, particularly in situations in which the desired outcome of the choice is an impossibility, and regardless of choice, the same negative outcome is a certainty. Heller is widely regarded as one of the best post–World War II satirists. Although he is remembered primarily for Catch-22, his other works center on the lives of various members of the middle class and remain exemplars of modern satire.


While sitting at home one morning in 1953, Heller thought of the lines, "It was love at first sight. The first time he saw the chaplain, Someone fell madly in love with him." Within the next day, he began to envision the story that could result from this beginning, and invented the characters and the plot, as well as the tone and form that the story would eventually take. Within a week, he had finished the first chapter and sent it to his agent. He did not do any more writing for the next year, as he planned the rest of the story. [6 ] The initial chapter was published in 1955 as "Catch-18", in Issue 7 of New World Writing.
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