Yossarian Slept Here (Erica Heller) - Simon & Schuster - 2011 - 272 pages

This book by the daughter of author Joseph Heller has been promoted as a biography of the father but it is really the story of Erica and her life with talented parents who never approved of her perceived lack of achievement.  Ms. Heller pays little attention to her father's literary success but rather focuses on his dysfunctional personal life that eventually caused the tragic dissolution of the marriage.  Although Erica had academic difficulties, she did inherit some of her father's writing talent.  The book is very well written.  This volume is not for those Joseph Heller fans who are unwilling to read about the writer's significant shortfallings.  As a west coast person, I cannot imagine living in a 12-story, block-long apartment monolith (The Apthorp) with 162 other families.  But for Erica, that was and still is home.  She paints a story of a father who enjoyed the life of a famous author and took advantage of his fame with little regard for family responsibilities.  The message for all parents is that your children are always watching you.  In the end, they are the ones who know who you really were. [JAM 9/5/2011]