Monday 18 December 2017

Books: How Erica Heller emerged from the shadow of her literary genius father

Edel Coffey

In Erica Heller's new memoir, Yossarian Slept Here, she tells of the effects of growing up with a literary giant for a dad. Erica's father was Joseph, the volatile author of one of the most respected and influential works of the 20th Century - Catch-22.

Heller writes from under the shadow of a father who expected his offspring to achieve as much as he had but Erica, sadly, was not in any way academically inclined and struggled through school and college.

Early on, in primary school, she was held back a year and when her mother tried to reason with the school principal, Erica remembers her coming home so depressed about her daughter's abilities that they she took her shopping cheer herself up.

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