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Erica Heller

Entries by Erica Heller

In Between Books: The 'Catch-22' of Pre- and Post-Partum Book Depression

(1) Comments | Posted December 22, 2011 | 3:47 PM

Time stops when you are writing a book, at least when I am. Only one day counts, looms and threatens and that is the day the manuscript must be delivered. There is no present, but only getting ahead, progress, limping along to the next page and the next. This is...

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The Best of Times or the Worst of Times? A 'Catch-22' Halloween

(7) Comments | Posted November 4, 2011 | 3:49 PM

The day started out beautifully. Crisp, cool and clear. Halloween, but not a witch or a goblin in sight.

I got to the studio, where I was to be on NPR last Monday, a little bit early. Then again, I had waited my whole life to write a book...

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Across the Years and Across the Pond: 50 Years of Catch 22

(8) Comments | Posted October 10, 2011 | 7:00 PM

"When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life." Said Samuel Johnson. My father, the author Joseph Heller, who wrote Catch-22, which turns 50 years old today, was tired of neither.

He died in 1999, at the age of seventy-six. To say that he was a...

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Happy 50th Anniversary, Catch-22

(150) Comments | Posted October 10, 2011 | 12:49 PM

On Tuesday, October 10, 1961, I got up as usual, went to public school, came home with a swollen jaw after being punched by a school bully (a not uncommon occurrence), came home, sat down in the kitchen with my brother, had a snack and we did our homework. Unbeknownst...

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Midnight at the Rickshaw Garage

(4) Comments | Posted October 5, 2011 | 5:16 PM

My father, Joseph Heller, had literary and artistic friends. But Joe's crowd was not, shall we say, exactly Gertrude Stein's Parisian Salon, either in real life or as recreated recently by Woody Allen in his dreamy cinematic bonbon Midnight in Paris. Nor was it The Algonquin Roundtable, the literary lunch...

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Merry Christmas, And Please Pass The Hamantaschen

(1) Comments | Posted September 29, 2011 | 5:27 PM

Happy New Year and L'shanah tovah to all my Jewish friends, family, enemies, acquaintances and as yet unmet creatures, but mea culpa, I actually had to look up that phrase on Google to get it right. (Googlestein?) Somehow, I always thought it was the name of a film I have...

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The Catch-22 of Book Readings, The Taste of Mackerel

(4) Comments | Posted September 23, 2011 | 6:48 PM

I prepared for my book reading last week at the Corner Bookstore, on 93rd Street and Madison Avenue, (my first reading, ever), the way I prepare for most new life experiences: I broke out in hives, didn't sleep for a week, misplaced the mascara, was limned in a perpetual clammy...

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'Catch-22' And The Waitress With Fruit In Her Ears

(42) Comments | Posted August 31, 2011 | 8:21 AM

In 1962, as Catch-22 began to gain a bit of commercial traction the year after publication, my parents began going out quite often together at night. The job of taking care of me and my brother (then aged 10 and 6) in the evenings shifted increasingly to my grandparents on...

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When Fame And My Father Met: Joseph Heller's Own Catch-22

(134) Comments | Posted August 23, 2011 | 7:23 AM

Why on earth would anyone want to be famous? This is a question I have pondered often during my adult life. Although I've certainly not faced the dilemma firsthand, I did have a chance to witness the next best thing, growing up and seeing the spectacular transformation of my father,...

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Did You Hear the One About Four Comedians Trapped In a Mine?

(4) Comments | Posted October 13, 2010 | 12:38 PM

At a collapsed San Jose gold and copper mine, an agonizing wait of 69 days is finally coming to an end for 33 entombed miners and their loved ones. It's almost impossible to imagine it but the colossal cave-in sealed them off way back on Aug. 5. Predictably, there was...

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Is There Any Place One Can Go to Get Away from Michael Jackson?

(0) Comments | Posted July 1, 2009 | 10:28 AM

Nobody danced better. His music was the best, once upon a time. Okay. But all right, already. "Thriller" is not thrilling when you have just heard it, without ever even intending to, 2,345,789 times in a row.

Enough is enough. We have all read and read about his hideous...

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The Year of the Geezer: The Triumph of Stump, the Sussex Spaniel

(3) Comments | Posted February 11, 2009 | 10:14 AM

Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?

Just take a look at the latest comeback kid, the pride of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, 10 year-old Stump, the Sussex spaniel.

Sassy and sleek, mighty geezer Stump essentially retired from show business four years ago, but still...

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Blago Is My Embarrassing Uncle Who Won't Shut Up

(10) Comments | Posted January 28, 2009 | 11:12 AM

We all have one. (Well, at least one.)

The relative who makes you and your whole family cringe every time he opens his mouth at family gatherings. He's the reason why you'd be too mortified to invite your boyfriends, your pals and work colleagues to these occasions. Every year you...

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How About a Little R-E-S-P-E-C-T for Aretha?

(131) Comments | Posted January 22, 2009 | 11:12 AM

Jesus, this is a tough crowd.

What's with everyone dissing the hat?

Why didn't anyone find it aesthetically logical? And in any case, who cares?

Whatever happened to personal style? Must we all look the same? Aretha's got gravitas and the cojones to take a risk. She's Aretha, for...

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The Audacity of Hopelessness

(114) Comments | Posted January 17, 2009 | 10:55 AM

It's getting harder these days to be cranky, to stay curmudgeonly.

It can still be done, of course, it's just that right now, it requires much more of an effort than usual. And curmudgeons resent that, in fact, that's an integral part of being a curmudgeon.

But really, who...

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Palin Blasts Bloggers. Spiro Agnew Redux?

(26) Comments | Posted January 13, 2009 | 3:38 PM

"Bored, anonymous, pathetic bloggers who lie annoy me," says Sarah Appalling. Is she channeling Spiro Agnew? Or trying to? That's some goal.

Remember Agnew's narcissistic and paranoid ravings? When this bilious Blagojevich predecessor attacked the media, as crooked and vile as he was, at least his gems were often...

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Things Could be Worse: It could be President McCain in 3 days

(61) Comments | Posted January 8, 2009 | 8:13 AM

These days, I feel caught in the strangest kind of limbo, suspended somewhere between euphoria and the most utter, bleak despair, and in speaking to the other people around me and even in hearing from friends all over the world, I know I am not alone. Everyone feels irritatingly and...

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Why I Want to Work For Bernie Madoff

(15) Comments | Posted January 5, 2009 | 5:03 PM

Like almost anyone else I've ever met in my life, right now I need a job. And when I read the other day that employees of "disgraced billionaire" Bernard Madoff are still showing up to work, doing nothing there and still being paid while "expecting to be fired," I thought...

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How Long Does it Take to Impeach a Crook?

(10) Comments | Posted December 31, 2008 | 12:30 PM

Can this year end soon enough?

Not for me. But for the miracle of the Obama election (and I am still pinching myself thrice daily), most of the news has seemed dumb and dumber, glum and glummer.

In the meantime, the governor of Illinois pitches forward, more arrogantly than...

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The 2 Stooges? 11 Angry Men? More and More, Less Is Less

(7) Comments | Posted December 17, 2008 | 7:53 PM

Everything is shrinking these days, worth less, diminished. A million bucks used to be worth, well, a million bucks. Today we pay more and get less. We live larger but feel smaller. We must face facts, my friends: Less is less.

Now, with belts tightened and the notion of a...

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