90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science

Story By 'Catch-22' Author Published For First Time

Author Joseph Heller in his publisher's office in New York City on October 9, 1974. (Jerry Mosey/AP)

Author Joseph Heller in his publisher’s office in New York City on October 9, 1974. (Jerry Mosey/AP)

Sometime between the late 1940s and early 1950s — before he wrote “Catch-22” — author Joseph Heller wrote a short story called “Almost Like Christmas.”

The story of racism and violence in a small town has most likely never been published, but it will now see the light of day.

“Almost Like Christmas” is being published by The Strand Magazine. Strand’s managing editor Andrew Gulli discovered the work at a library at Brandeis University.

The short story does not feature the humor that came to be Heller’s hallmark.

“There’s an attitude of despair in ‘Almost Like Christmas,'” Gulli said. In Heller’s later works, such as Catch-22, Gulli said that the despair is replaced by, “a sardonic laughter at the ridiculousness of the human condition.”

Guest

  • Andrew Gulli, managing editor of The Strand Magazine.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

November 24 25 Comments

Jose Antonio Vargas May Soon Become Documented Immigrant

The activist and journalist is one of the undocumented immigrants expected to receive protection from deportation.

November 24 7 Comments

Doctor: Hard-To-Abuse Painkillers Won’t Fix Overdose Crisis

There's a question of whether the new technology of addictive painkillers will help stem the epidemic or help fuel it.

November 21 5 Comments

Students Protest University Of California Tuition Hikes

In spite of protests on University of California campuses, the board voted to hike tuitions by about 5 percent every year for the next five years.

November 20 3 Comments

The Man Behind ‘Mockingjay’

Francis Lawrence describes the rewards and challenges of bringing "The Hunger Games" books to the screen.