Heller's personal life took traumatic turns in 1981 as he separated from his wife, Shirley, from whom he was divorced in 1984. In December 1981, Heller discovered that he had Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare paralytic disease. His struggle with and slow recovery from the disease is recorded in No Laughing Matter (1986) written with his friend Speed Vogel. During his rehabilitation, Heller met a nurse, Valerie Humphries, whom he married in 1987.In addition to his fiction and memoirs, Heller wrote for the theater, television, and motion pictures. He continued his writing and teaching career until his death, of a heart attack, at his home in East Hampton, New York, on December 12, 1999. (For a detailed chronology of Heller's life, see Catch-22: Antiheroic Antinovel by Stephen W. Potts.)
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