Joseph Heller (May 1, 1923--December 12, 1999) was an American satirical novelist, short story writer, and playwright. His best known work is Catch-22, a novel about US servicemen during World War II. The title of this work entered the English lexicon to refer to absurd, no-win choices, particularly in situations in which the desired outcome of the choice is an impossibility, and regardless of choice, the same negative outcome is a certainty. Heller is widely regarded as one of the best postWorld War II satirists. Although he is remembered primarily for Catch-22, his other works center on the lives of various members of the middle class and remain exemplars of modern satire. Joseph Heller was born in Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York, the son of poor Jewish parents, Lena and Isaac Donald Heller, from Russia. Even as a child, he loved to write; as a teenager, he wrote a story about the Russian invasion of Finland and sent it to New York Daily News, which rejected it.
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