90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
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.

April 17 3 Comments

22,000 Miles Later, Adventurer Prepares For 3,000-Mile Solo Row Across Atlantic

Sarah Outen, 29, began her self-propelled round-the-world voyage in 2011 in London. The final leg would make history.

April 17 7 Comments

Interior Secretary On Parks, Funding And Polarization In Washington

Sally Jewell, who oversees agencies including the National Park Service, discusses some of the efforts underway, and biggest challenges.

April 16 9 Comments

Oklahoma City Bombing Juror Looks Back

Mike Leeper was Juror No. 5 in Timothy McVeigh's trial for the 1995 terror attack that killed 168 people.

April 15 Comment

‘Institutional Memory’ Of U.S. Senate To Retire

Donald Ritchie has spent nearly 40 years keeping track of Senate lore and delivering weekly historical minutes to Senate lawmakers.