Why Not Catch-21?: The Stories Behind the Titles
Most book titles simply describe the contents of the book they are attached to. Crime and Punishment is about crime and punishment, and Brideshead Revisited is about revisiting Brideshead. But a small number of book titles have a rather odd, separate existence, almost as independent literary artefacts. The stories behind them are quite different from the stories behind the actual books. Winnie-the-Pooh, for example is to do with a swan on a pond at a holiday cottage. The Postman Always Rings Twice is about the travails of a screenwriter. And Catch-22 only got that way after a clash with another author, and via a route that included several other numbers.
In Why Not Catch-21?, Gary Dexter looks at 50 iconic books and explores the fascinating stories behind how they got their titles.