This book is the first interpretation of the works of William Saroyan. Balakian traces Saroyan's path from the ethnic-oriented writing of an immigrant Armenian orphan brought up in Fresno, California, to a full identification with the American character and spirit of the era in which he made himself known. The innovations he brought to the writing of his time are highlighted.
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Balakian, who was on the editorial staff of the New York Times Book Review for 43 years, had almost finished this study of William Saroyan before her death in 1991. Completed by her sister, Anna, this title is a reevaluation of a now underappreciated American writer. In the midst of the realistic mode of writing of the Thirties, Saroyan brought a surprising mixture of humor and absurdity to American literature. Saroyan, who like Balakian was of Armenian heritage, described a new ethnic vision of the classic American optimism. Balakian follows his career from the early stories (e.g., The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze, 1934) to the plays (e.g., The Time of Your Life, 1939) and later writings, showing that Saroyan's surprisingly contemporary writing exerts a powerful influence on modern-day fiction. A fine appreciation; recommended for literature collections.AGene Shaw, NYPL
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Even if this painstaking study does not rekindle widespread interest in Saroyan's writing ... it does offer a frequently engaging overview of his career... -- The New York Times Book Review, Greg Johnson
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Book Description Bucknell Univ Pr, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P11083875368X
Book Description Bucknell University Press. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 083875368X New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.0897705