Editor's Choice

Editor's Choice

March 09, 2003|By Michael Pakenham

Catch as Catch Can: The Collected Stories and Other Writings of Joseph Heller, edited by Matthew J. Bruccoli and Park Bucker. Simon and Schuster, 333 pages, $25.

Much of the fine writing by Heller, who died at 76 in 1999, has been obscured by his work of genius: Catch 22, published in 1961. Others of his novels have received serious attention, of course. But he was writing for publication as early as 1945, and produced a substantial legacy of provocative short stories, essays and drama that has been little noted. This cleanly edited and presented volume is a long-overdue contribution to understanding and delighting in the mind and work of a writer who changed the language and the concept of both insanity and war.

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