Thursday, July 28, 2011
The Catching of Two Joseph Hellers
By Tracy Daugherty
Illustrated. 548 pages. St. Martin’s Press. $35.
By Erica Heller
One Catch” is a soup-to-nuts chronicle of the life of Joseph Heller. It is by Tracy Daugherty, who should not be confused with Mr. Heller’s daughter. Erica Heller’s own book about her father is “Yossarian Slept Here,” and there are many places where Heller’s daughter and Mr. Daugherty overlap. This situation is so jarring that it has driven Christopher Buckley, not ordinarily known for cornball silliness, to two giddy attacks of wordplay. About the biography he blurbs, “A major achievement, or should I say major major major?” in honor of Major Major, a major character in Heller’s “Catch-22.” His blurb for Ms. Heller: “I think this is going to be one hell(er) of a memoir.”