Good Catch

Unpublished Joseph Heller Story Resurfaces

Forgotten in the Brandeis University library for decades, "Almost Like Christmas" was serendipitously discovered by Strand Magazine editor Andrew Gulli while he was doing research. The story, one of Joseph Heller’s earliest, is about a racially charged street fight that leads to a lynch mob. The dark sense of humor that so characterized his later work is absent here; this is a work tinged with, as Heller writes in one passage, "the primordial brutality of an alley fracas." The Strand Magazine will publish the story later this month.