Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
Introduced by Anne Brichto of Addyman Books, Hay-on-Wye
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On 1st May 1923 Joseph Heller was born. I heard him speak at the Hay Festival in 1994 and afterwards got him to sign three books – one for me and one each for the children. Thorne got lucky and now has a signed presentation copy of THE BOOK to treasure.
Heller was constantly asked if he regretted never writing another book that so hit the right cord and in a tent in Hay I heard him say, smiling wryly: “I always want to answer that with the fact that nobody has written a book that managed that since then either”.
Heller called the Hay Festival “a cross between an international conference and a country wedding” – a description I feel still holds true. In the early heady days of the Hay festival the tents were smaller, there were no corporate stands and we listened to people like Arthur Miller, Heller, Muriel Spark and Doris Lessing.