William Saroyan

William Saroyan (1908–1981) was born in Fresno, California. Famous for a long and voluminous career, he wrote novels, along with some sixteen story collections, and plays including The Human Comedy (winning an Academy Award for his screenplay), and The Time of Your Life, for which he won the Drama Critics Circle and Pulitzer Prizes. He wrote about “the archetypal Armenian families who inhabit Saroyan country, in and around Fresno, California. [And yet with their] unpredictable charm and wacky spontaneity … his characters overflow with so much human comedy that they transcend all ethnic boundaries, as in the stories of I.B. Singer” (The Chicago Tribune).

The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze

Fiction by William Saroyan

“This book was first published October 15, 1934…,” William Saroyan wrote of The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze. “You will have to take my word for it that I believed the world would never be the same.” Certainly, it never was. Saroyan’s debut collection of stories made a tremendous splash in the literary world, adding an author in love with his own madcap sincerity to a pantheon full of serious-minded modernists.…
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Fresno Stories

Fiction by William Saroyan

Eleven of William Saroyan’s most delightful tales, Fresno Stories spring straight from the source of the authors vision––“the archetypal Armenian families who inhabit Saroyan country, in and around Fresno, California. [And yet with their] unpredictable charm and wacky spontaneity…his characters overflow with so much human comedy that they transcend all ethnic boundaries, as in the stories of I.B. Singer” (The Chicago Tribune). Selected from New Directions’ collections of Saroyan’s early stories (The Man with the Heart in the Highlands) and his later work (Madness in the Family), Fresno Stories spans his whole remarkable career.…
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The Man with the Heart in the Highlands & Other Early Stories

Fiction by William Saroyan

Gathered in The Man with the Heart in the Highlands are sixteen stories from William Saroyan’s most celebrated literary period, culled from several long out-of-print collections from the 1930s and ’40s, While achieving meteoric success with The Human Comedy and The Time of Your Life, the young Saroyan set the pace with characters as fresh and compassionate as himself. His voice here is exhilarating, luminous, and completely distinctive––ready to let go with a lusty brash laugh on every page.…
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Madness in the Family

Fiction by William Saroyan

William Saroyan, who burst upon the scene with his celebrated short-story collection The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze (1934), enjoyed a long and prolific literary career. Famous for his novels and plays (including The Human Comedy and The Time of Your Life), he also published sixteen acclaimed story collections. “It came as something of a shock then, after the author’s death in 1981,” the editor Leo Hamalian notes, “to realize Saroyan hadn’t published a collection of his stories since 1956, a period of twenty-five years that also represents a full half of his writing life.…
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