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
Monday, July 22, 2013

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.
  • Burton

    During the radio broadcast, Robin Young referred to Youssarian of Catch 22 as a `fighter pilot’.  He wasn’t a fighter pilot, or even a pilot.  I don’t recall any fighter aircraft even appearing in the movie. Did Ms. Young, or any of the staff, see the movie, or read the book?

  • Laughatbridget

    I’ve never seen the movie, but in the book he is a bombardier, not a fighter pilot.

Robin and Jeremy

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

April 22 Comment

What Do We Have To Teach Plato?

Philosopher Rebecca Newberger Goldstein discusses her new book "Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won't Go Away."

April 22 21 Comments

Children’s Literature: Apartheid Or Just A General Lack of Color?

African-American children's book authors Walter Dean Myers and his son Christopher Myers weigh in.

April 21 Comment

Remembering Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter

We remember the boxing champion, who was twice wrongly convicted of murder, with his longtime friend and defender.

April 21 2 Comments

‘Wait Wait’ Host Peter Sagal Runs Boston Marathon As Guide

For the second year in a row, the host of NPR's "Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me" is running with a legally blind athlete.