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Joseph Heller

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 22, 2008 | From a Times Staff Writer
Speed Vogel, who turned his friendship with novelist Joseph Heller into a bestselling memoir, "No Laughing Matter," died April 14 of natural causes at his home in Sag Harbor, N.Y. He was 90. The 1986 memoir, co-written with Heller, tells the story of Heller's struggle in the early 1980s with Guillain-Barre syndrome, a neuromuscular disorder that causes paralysis.
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NEWS
August 17, 2012 | By Carolyn Kellogg
The final leg of the presidential race begins at the end of this month, after the Republican National Convention. Perhaps in these last days before the candidates must focus almost exclusively on campaigning, President Obama and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney will have some extra time to read. We hope so. Because 14 authors and journalists have provided their book recommendations to the candidates. Our advisors include Jonathan Alter, who wrote the presidential biography "The Promise: President Obama, Year One"; Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Jane Smiley; Isabel Wilkerson, whose history of the African American diaspora in the 20th century, "The Warmth of Other Suns," was seen last year among Obama's book purchases; Fox News contributor and radio host Monica Crowley; and Juan Felipe Herrera, California's poet laureate.
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NEWS
January 13, 1988 | ITABARI NJERI, Times Staff Writer
Hunched over a podium, his voice a stew of gravel and mashed potatoes--Joseph Heller surveys the packed synagogue with the look of the congenitally jocular. "Thank you, Milton," he says to his host. "As I look out at this large crowd, I feel we're wasting a wonderful opportunity for a fund-raiser."
ENTERTAINMENT
August 21, 2011 | By Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times
"Yossarian Slept Here: WhenJoseph Heller Was Dad, the Apthorp Was Home, and Life Was a 'Catch-22'" Erica Heller Simon & Schuster: 288 pp., $25.00 "Just One Catch: A Biography of Joseph Heller" Tracy Daugherty St. Martin's Press: 560 pp., $35 Fifty-one years ago, nobody used the term "Catch-22" to describe a victim trapped in a contradictory, often bureaucratic, paradox. Not even Joseph Heller, who'd spent seven years writing his satirical World War II novel; he was still calling it "Catch-18.
NEWS
December 14, 1999 | ELAINE WOO, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Joseph Heller, whose satirical 1961 novel "Catch-22" grew from cult favorite to modern classic in less than two decades and enriched the American lexicon with its title slogan and its new definition of absurdity, died Sunday of a heart attack at his Long Island home. He was 76. Heller was the author of six novels, including "Something Happened" in 1974 and "Closing Time" in 1994, as well as three plays and two nonfiction works.
NEWS
June 20, 2000 | MICHAEL HARRIS, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Ask any aspiring young novelist: Wouldn't it be enough to write one good book? A book that's wildly popular and critically acclaimed, that's made into a movie and makes you millions? A book that's funny and serious and startlingly original, that adds an indelible phrase to the language, that will be read long after you're dead? A book that's unlike anything in American literature before? Wouldn't that be enough?
BOOKS
October 2, 1988 | Paul Skenazy, Skenazy teaches literature at UC Santa Cruz. and
It's been 27 years since "Catch-22" gave us a new term for the cultural double bind that keeps us killing each other in war after war. Since then, Joseph Heller has never found the right mix of image, plot and idea to provide shape and substance to his harsh, satiric intelligence.
BOOKS
October 16, 1994 | Bill Broyles, William Broyles Jr. is the author of "Brothers in Arms" and the co-creator of "China Beach."
In 1962, Joseph Heller took war to the surreal limits of its twisted, death-obsessed logic. "Catch-22's" hero, the bombardier Yossarian, wanted only to get back home, back to where he would be safe; he wanted the war to end, he wanted out. After surviving his own near-fatal illness and now past 70, Joseph Heller doesn't find home so safe anymore, and he can't let the war end. It's the only thing that makes sense. The war isn't absurd any more, it's the world that has gone mad.
NEWS
December 20, 1994 | RUSSELL MILLER, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Autumn is not expected to be this pleasant--neither the autumn of the year, nor the autumn of life. But here is Joseph Heller, legendarily cranky novelist, basking at 71 in autumn sun on the patio of his summery home outside East Hampton, the tony Long Island beach town. His thick froth of white hair shines. His tan skin glows. He is just back from Europe and a happy welcome for the book some thought he should not write.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 21, 2011 | By Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times
"Yossarian Slept Here: WhenJoseph Heller Was Dad, the Apthorp Was Home, and Life Was a 'Catch-22'" Erica Heller Simon & Schuster: 288 pp., $25.00 "Just One Catch: A Biography of Joseph Heller" Tracy Daugherty St. Martin's Press: 560 pp., $35 Fifty-one years ago, nobody used the term "Catch-22" to describe a victim trapped in a contradictory, often bureaucratic, paradox. Not even Joseph Heller, who'd spent seven years writing his satirical World War II novel; he was still calling it "Catch-18.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 22, 2008 | From a Times Staff Writer
Speed Vogel, who turned his friendship with novelist Joseph Heller into a bestselling memoir, "No Laughing Matter," died April 14 of natural causes at his home in Sag Harbor, N.Y. He was 90. The 1986 memoir, co-written with Heller, tells the story of Heller's struggle in the early 1980s with Guillain-Barre syndrome, a neuromuscular disorder that causes paralysis.
BOOKS
March 30, 2003 | David L. Ulin, David L. Ulin is the editor of "Another City: Writing From Los Angeles" and "Writing Los Angeles: A Literary Anthology."
Joseph Heller will always be remembered for a single book. That book, of course, is "Catch-22," possibly the greatest antiwar novel ever written in the English language, a ribald farce of World War II in which the absurdity of armed conflict and military bureaucracy is cast in stark relief.
NEWS
June 20, 2000 | MICHAEL HARRIS, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Ask any aspiring young novelist: Wouldn't it be enough to write one good book? A book that's wildly popular and critically acclaimed, that's made into a movie and makes you millions? A book that's funny and serious and startlingly original, that adds an indelible phrase to the language, that will be read long after you're dead? A book that's unlike anything in American literature before? Wouldn't that be enough?
SPORTS
May 13, 2000
In trying to get more innings for Orel Hershiser to pitch, Manager Davey Johnson stated he faced a "Catch-22" situation, because he already had a set five-man starting rotation. The only thing Johnson faces is a difficult problem, one that most managers have to deal with. Like so many folks, Johnson has no idea what a "Catch-22" situation is. If you want to find out, read Joseph Heller's novel. If not, stop using the term. If Heller were alive, he could sue, and retire in luxury. RALPH S. BRAX, Lancaster Isn't it about time that Davey Johnson considers another closer.
NEWS
February 22, 2000 | From Hartford Courant
When Ted Heller worked as a photo researcher at Details magazine, he switched desks every day, and few people knew his name. It was only after Heller filed a 35-millimeter slide in the wrong folder that the higher-ups noticed him. They screamed as if he had misplaced the Mona Lisa. He quit instantly. His three months at Details, however, seemed amiable and warm compared with the arctic air at Vanity Fair. "I'd never been in such a glacial atmosphere," Heller said in an e-mail exchange recently.
NEWS
December 14, 1999 | ELAINE WOO, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Joseph Heller, whose satirical 1961 novel "Catch-22" grew from cult favorite to modern classic in less than two decades and enriched the American lexicon with its title slogan and its new definition of absurdity, died Sunday of a heart attack at his Long Island home. He was 76. Heller was the author of six novels, including "Something Happened" in 1974 and "Closing Time" in 1994, as well as three plays and two nonfiction works.
NEWS
February 27, 1998 | DAVID L. ULIN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Mel Brooks and Joseph Heller are old friends. They've known each other since 1962, when they were introduced by Speed Vogel, with whom Heller would later write "No Laughing Matter," an account of his battle with Guillain- Barre syndrome, an often fatal neurological disease. In the late 1960s, in Manhattan, all three men --along with novelist Mario Puzo and a floating crew of others--were part of a "Chinese gourmet club" that got together every Tuesday evening to eat and talk.
NEWS
August 17, 2012 | By Carolyn Kellogg
The final leg of the presidential race begins at the end of this month, after the Republican National Convention. Perhaps in these last days before the candidates must focus almost exclusively on campaigning, President Obama and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney will have some extra time to read. We hope so. Because 14 authors and journalists have provided their book recommendations to the candidates. Our advisors include Jonathan Alter, who wrote the presidential biography "The Promise: President Obama, Year One"; Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Jane Smiley; Isabel Wilkerson, whose history of the African American diaspora in the 20th century, "The Warmth of Other Suns," was seen last year among Obama's book purchases; Fox News contributor and radio host Monica Crowley; and Juan Felipe Herrera, California's poet laureate.
NEWS
February 27, 1998 | DAVID L. ULIN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Mel Brooks and Joseph Heller are old friends. They've known each other since 1962, when they were introduced by Speed Vogel, with whom Heller would later write "No Laughing Matter," an account of his battle with Guillain- Barre syndrome, an often fatal neurological disease. In the late 1960s, in Manhattan, all three men --along with novelist Mario Puzo and a floating crew of others--were part of a "Chinese gourmet club" that got together every Tuesday evening to eat and talk.
BOOKS
February 22, 1998 | JONATHAN KIRSCH, Jonathan Kirsch is the author of "The Harlot by the Side of Road" and an upcoming biography of Moses. He is a contributing writer to Book Review
Any author who coined a word that embodies the existential dilemma of our world, who wrote a first novel that changed the way we regard one of our most hallowed national experiences and who anticipated and shaped the counterculture with his absurdist and iconoclastic sense of humor has surely earned the right to reminisce about his life and work. Readers may then pick up Joseph Heller's literary memoir, "Now and Then," with real enthusiasm and anticipation. As it turns out, there is a catch.
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