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William Saroyan (1908–1981)

Author of The Human Comedy

236+ Works 3,761 Members 79 Reviews 17 Favorited

About the Author

An Armenian American with little formal education, Saroyan was a dramatist who disparaged the usual conventions of the form: "Plot, atmosphere, style, and all the rest of it," he wrote, "may be regarded as so much nonsense" (Three Times Three). His plays have been criticized as formless and his show more writing as undisciplined; yet his work is imbued with fondness for the human race and contains an infectious enthusiasm for society's misfits and innocents. Saroyan's dramatic career was launched with My Heart's in the Highlands (1939), a fantasy. The following year, The Time of Your Life (1939) was awarded the Pulitzer Prize---which Saroyan publicly refused on the grounds that commerce had no right to patronize art. This play, undoubtedly Saroyan's one enduring piece, takes place in a waterfront saloon where vivid characters wander in and out to come into contact with the philosophical Joe, a man of unending generosity. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: World Telegram & Sun photo by Al Aumuller, 1940 (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-117536)

Works by William Saroyan

The Human Comedy (1943) 1,344 copies
My Name Is Aram (1940) 471 copies
The William Saroyan Reader (1958) — Author — 76 copies
Tracy's Tiger (1951) 72 copies
Madness in the Family (1988) 47 copies
Dear Baby (1944) 40 copies
Mama, I Love You (1956) 38 copies
Short Drive, Sweet Chariot (1966) 31 copies
Papa, You're Crazy (1957) 30 copies
Boys and Girls Together (1714) 30 copies
Rock Wagram (1951) 29 copies
Chance Meetings (1978) 26 copies
My Name Is Saroyan (1983) 24 copies
Places Where I've Done Time (1972) 24 copies
Not Dying (1963) 23 copies
Obituaries (1978) 20 copies
The Laughing Matter (1953) 14 copies
Razzle Dazzle (1942) 14 copies
Me (1963) 13 copies
The trouble with tigers (1938) 12 copies
The Beautiful People (1941) 10 copies
The tooth and my father (1974) 10 copies
Little Children (1937) 8 copies
Inhale & Exhale (1980) 8 copies
48 Saroyan Stories (1942) 8 copies
Subway Circus (2011) 8 copies
An Armenian Trilogy (1986) 6 copies
dlekler Cesurdur (2010) 6 copies
Saroyan's fables (1941) 6 copies
Why Abstract? (1974) 6 copies
Morris Hirshfield (1975) 5 copies
Once Around the Block (1959) 4 copies
34 More Great Stories (1944) 4 copies
Peace, it's wonderful (1938) 4 copies
Where the bones go (2002) 4 copies
Three Plays 3 copies
Memorias (1996) 3 copies
Tja, Papa Roman (2019) 3 copies
The Hungerers (1939) 2 copies
A Christmas Psalm, 1935 (1935) 2 copies
The Circus [short story] (1986) 2 copies
Births (1983) 2 copies
Don't Go Away Mad (1949) 2 copies
Human Comedy 1 copy
O assírio 1 copy
Čas tvého života (1999) 1 copy
Radio Play 1 copy
Opera, Opera 1 copy
Yoksul İnsanlar (1990) 1 copy
All titles 1 copy
Obras 1 copy
Nedělní zepelín (1998) 1 copy
Trouble with Tigers (1939) 1 copy

Associated Works

Nothing but the Truth (1991) — Contributor, some editions — 2,410 copies
The Best American Short Stories of the Century (2000) — Contributor — 1,547 copies
The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction (1978) — Contributor, some editions — 1,431 copies
50 Great Short Stories (1952) — Contributor — 1,239 copies
Fifty Great American Short Stories (1965) — Contributor — 427 copies
75 Short Masterpieces: Stories from the World's Literature (1961) — Contributor — 295 copies
A Treasury of Short Stories (1947) — Contributor — 291 copies
The Treasury of American Short Stories (1981) — Contributor — 267 copies
This Is My Best (1942) — Contributor — 185 copies
Sixteen Famous American Plays (1777) — Playwright — 181 copies
Famous American Plays of the 1930s (1656) — Contributor — 169 copies
Twenty Grand Short Stories (1967) — Contributor — 156 copies
The Pocket Book of Modern American Short Stories (1943) — Contributor — 142 copies
The Signet Classic Book of American Short Stories (1985) — Contributor — 136 copies
An Anthology of Famous American Stories (1953) — Contributor — 133 copies
Thirty Famous One-Act Plays (1943) — Contributor — 110 copies
One Act: Eleven Short Plays of the Modern Theater (1961) — Contributor — 106 copies
Great Modern Reading (1943) — Contributor — 106 copies
Junior Great Books Discussion Program Set 06 (1984) — Contributor — 84 copies
Best Plays of the Modern American Theatre: Second Series (1947) — Contributor — 81 copies
The American Mercury Reader (1943) — Contributor — 77 copies
British and American Short Stories (1960) — Contributor — 74 copies
The lonely ones (1942) — Introduction — 71 copies
Great Esquire Fiction (1983) — Contributor — 70 copies
Bedside Book of Famous American Stories (1936) — Contributor — 69 copies
Reader's Digest Great Stories for Young Readers (1969) — Contributor — 67 copies
200 Years of Great American Short Stories (1975) — Contributor — 67 copies
Yokohama, California (1985) — Introduction, some editions — 64 copies
10 Short Plays (1963) — Contributor — 62 copies
Art of Fiction (1967) — Contributor — 51 copies
O. Henry Memorial Award Prize Stories of 1943 (1943) — Contributor — 48 copies
Modern Short Stories (1939) — Contributor — 48 copies
Point of Departure (1967) — Contributor — 46 copies
Contemporary Drama - 11 Plays (1956) — Contributor — 46 copies
Masters of the Modern Short Story (1945) — Contributor — 46 copies
The Bedside Tales: A Gay Collection (1945) — Contributor — 45 copies
Prose and Poetry for Appreciation (1934) — Contributor — 45 copies
The Random House Book of Sports Stories (1990) — Contributor — 44 copies
Celebrate Cricket: 30 Years of Stories and Art (2003) — Contributor — 43 copies
Best American Plays: Fifth Series, 1957-1963 (1952) — Contributor — 43 copies
A Quarto of Modern Literature (1935) — Contributor — 39 copies
New Masses; An Anthology of the Rebel Thirties, (1969) — Contributor — 38 copies
Fifty Best American Short Stories 1915-1965 (1965) — Contributor — 36 copies
The Modern Theatre, Volume 4 (1956) — Contributor — 35 copies
Stories for Men (1938) — Contributor — 34 copies
50 Best Plays of the American Theatre [4-volume set] (1969) — Contributor — 32 copies
15 International One-Act Plays (1969) — Contributor — 31 copies
The Signet Book of Short Plays (2004) — Contributor — 28 copies
50 Best American Short Stories 1915-1939 (1939) — Contributor — 28 copies
Vogue's First Reader (1942) — Contributor — 27 copies
Three Dramas of American Realism (1961) — Contributor — 27 copies
American short stories, 1820 to the present (1952) — Contributor — 26 copies
Great Short Stories of the World (1965) — Contributor — 25 copies
The Seas of God: Great Stories of the Human Spirit (1944) — Contributor — 25 copies
Tell Me a Story: An Anthology (1957) — Contributor — 23 copies
The Bedside Playboy (1963) — Contributor — 23 copies
The Wonderful World of Horses (1966) — Contributor — 22 copies
Studies in Fiction (1965) — Contributor — 22 copies
The Most Dangerous Game and Other Stories (1957) — Contributor; Contributor — 22 copies
The Chicano: From Caricature to Self-Portrait (1971) — Contributor — 21 copies
Stories to Remember: Literary Heritage Series (1967) — Contributor — 21 copies
Currents in Fiction (1974) — Contributor — 20 copies
Designs in Fiction (1968) — Contributor; Contributor — 20 copies
Short Stories II (1961) — Contributor — 18 copies
Love Stories (1975) — Contributor — 18 copies
The Best American Short Stories 1963 (1963) — Contributor — 18 copies
Twentieth-Century American Short Stories: An Anthology (1975) — Contributor — 17 copies
Plays for reading (1996) — Contributor — 16 copies
20th Century American Short Stories, Volume 1 (1995) — Contributor — 16 copies
The Best American Short Stories 1977 (1977) — Contributor — 15 copies
Modern American Short Stories (1945) — Contributor — 15 copies
Horse Stories (2012) — Contributor — 15 copies
Uomini che non ho sposato (2016) — Contributor — 15 copies
I Ask You, Ladies and Gentlemen (1945) — Introduction — 15 copies
Car Tales: Classic Stories About Dream Machines (1991) — Contributor — 14 copies
The Story Pocket Book (1944) — Contributor — 13 copies
Twenty-Nine Stories (1960) — Contributor — 13 copies
31 Stories (1960) — Contributor — 12 copies
The Time of Your Life [1948 film] (1995) — Original play — 12 copies
The Best American Short Stories 1974 (1974) — Contributor — 12 copies
Continent's End: A Collection of California Writing (1944) — Contributor — 12 copies
52 Miles to Terror and Other Stories of the Road (1966) — Contributor — 11 copies
Favorite Animal Stories (1987) — Contributor — 11 copies
Of Leaf and Flower: Stories and Poems for Gardeners (2001) — Contributor — 11 copies
The Best American Short Stories 1943 (1943) — Contributor — 11 copies
The Banishment [2007 film] (2007) — Author — 11 copies
Growing Up Stories (1995) — Contributor — 10 copies
One Act Plays for Our Times (1973) — Contributor — 10 copies
The best of the Best American short stories, 1915-1950 (1975) — Contributor — 10 copies
Tales for Males (1945) — Contributor — 10 copies
This Way, Miss (1955) — Foreword — 10 copies
Inside Stories I (1987) — Contributor — 10 copies
Tall Short Stories (1960) — Contributor — 9 copies
Great Western short stories (1777) — Contributor — 9 copies
World's Great Humorous Stories (1944) — Contributor — 9 copies
More Chucklebait: Funny Stories for Everyone (1949) — Contributor — 9 copies
Great Tales of City Dwellers (1955) — Contributor — 8 copies
Highlights from Yank the Army Weekly (1953) — Contributor — 8 copies
Best modern short stories (1965) — Contributor — 8 copies
Writer to Writer: Readings on the Craft of Writing (1966) — Contributor — 8 copies
Great Horse Stories (2010) — Contributor — 8 copies
Modern American Short Stories (1941) — Contributor — 7 copies
The Short Story & You (1987) — Contributor — 7 copies
Twelve Short Masterpieces (1986) — Contributor — 7 copies
Fletcher Martin — Foreword — 7 copies
Drama I (1962) — Contributor — 7 copies
Time to Be Young: Great Stories of the Growing Years (1945) — Contributor — 7 copies
The bear went over the mountain (1964) — Contributor — 6 copies
Focus (1970) — Contributor — 6 copies
Quintet: 5 of the World's Greatest Short Novels (1956) — Contributor — 6 copies
Prize Stories 1963: The O. Henry Awards (1963) — Contributor — 6 copies
The Story Survey (1953) — Contributor — 6 copies
Our lives : American labor stories — Contributor — 6 copies
Speed: Stories of Survival from Behind the Wheel (2002) — Contributor — 6 copies
The Literary Horse: Great Modern Stories About Horses (1995) — Contributor — 6 copies
Top Teen Stories (2004) — Contributor — 6 copies
Snapshots (1995) — Contributor — 6 copies
Stories of Scarlet Women (1962) — Contributor — 5 copies
Saturday Evening Post Stories 1958 (1959) — Contributor — 5 copies
The Best American Short Stories 1952 (1952) — Contributor — 5 copies
Textsammlung moderner Kurzgeschichten (1975) — Contributor — 5 copies
The Moth and Other Stories (1991) — Contributor — 5 copies
The Fireside Treasury of Modern Humor (1963) — Contributor — 5 copies
Life Styles (2001) — Contributor — 5 copies
The Stakes are High (1954) — Contributor — 4 copies
The Best American Short Stories 1942 (1942) — Contributor — 4 copies
The Word Lives On: A Treasury of Spiritual Fiction (1951) — Contributor — 4 copies
Modern Fiction About Schoolteaching: An Anthology (1995) — Contributor — 4 copies
1935 Essay Annual — Contributor — 4 copies
Golden Tales of the Southwest (1939) — Contributor — 4 copies
Child's Ploy (1984) — Contributor — 4 copies
Cricket Magazine, Vol. 2, No. 9, May 1975 (1975) — Contributor — 4 copies
O. Henry Memorial Award Prize Stories of 1938 (1938) — Contributor — 4 copies
Modern Short Stories in English (Literature for Life) (1993) — Contributor — 4 copies
Wives and Lovers — Contributor — 3 copies
Immortal Stories (2013) — Contributor — 3 copies
American Short Stories (1978) — Contributor — 3 copies
Let Us Be Men (1969) — Contributor — 3 copies
The Saturday Evening Post Stories 1962 — Contributor — 3 copies
15 Stories: An Anthology for Secondary Schools (1960) — Contributor — 3 copies
The Boys' Book of the West (2005) — Contributor — 3 copies
Americans All: Stories of American Life To-Day (1971) — Contributor — 3 copies
Tredive mesterfortællinger — Author, some editions — 3 copies
Salto mortale : Zirkusgeschichten (1977) — Contributor — 3 copies
The New Roger Caras Treasury of Great Horse Stories (1999) — Contributor — 3 copies
On the Death of My Father and Other Poems (1970) — Introduction — 3 copies
Tomas: A Novel (1970) — Introduction — 3 copies
Short Fiction: Shape and Substance (1971) — Contributor — 3 copies
Modern Short Stories — Contributor — 3 copies
Other Nations: Animals in Modern Literature (2010) — Contributor — 3 copies
O. Henry Memorial Award Prize Stories of 1935 — Contributor — 2 copies
People in Fact and Fiction (1957) — Contributor — 2 copies
A Reader for Writers — Contributor — 2 copies
American Short Stories (Oxford Literature Resources) (1992) — Contributor — 2 copies
Great Tales of the Far West (1956) — Contributor — 2 copies
Eyes of Boyhood (1953) — Contributor — 2 copies
Teatro Norteamericano contemporaneo — Contributor — 2 copies
American Humor and Satire (1992) — Contributor; Narrator — 2 copies
Geschichten von Urlaub und Reise. (1989) — Contributor — 2 copies
Great railroad stories of the world — Contributor — 2 copies
The College Short Story Reader (1948) — Contributor — 2 copies
El cuento literario (2008) — Contributor — 2 copies
The Saturday Evening Post Stories 1949 — Contributor — 2 copies
The Defense of Van, Part I — Foreword — 2 copies
Enjoying Stories (1987) — Contributor — 2 copies
The Narrative Impulse: Short Stories for Analysis (1963) — Contributor — 1 copy
Modern British and American short stories (1982) — Contributor — 1 copy
The Mouse and Other Stories (1986) — Contributor — 1 copy
Direction Vol.1 No.3 (April-June 1935) — Contributor — 1 copy
Modern American short stories (1963) — Contributor — 1 copy
Short Plays for Reading and Acting (1970) — Contributor — 1 copy
The Saturday Evening Post Stories 1957 — Contributor — 1 copy
Kalifornien : ein Reiselesebuch (2001) — Contributor — 1 copy
Did It Happen? (1956) — Contributor — 1 copy
Die schönsten Tiergeschichten — Contributor — 1 copy
14 American Masterpieces Vol.1 — Contributor — 1 copy
Selected Poems — Introduction — 1 copy
Stories of Adolescence (1979) — Contributor — 1 copy
America through the short story — Contributor — 1 copy
After the Fair and Other Stories (1986) — Contributor — 1 copy
Harlem as Seen by Hirschfeld — Author — 1 copy
Whole Pieces (1990) — Contributor — 1 copy
Mestres do moderno conto americano — Contributor — 1 copy
El blues de una sola baldosa (2009) — Composer — 1 copy
Con los tiernos infantes terribles — Contributor — 1 copy
Tracy's Tiger — Original Author — 1 copy
50 seltsame Geschichten — Contributor — 1 copy
15 Great Stories of Today (1946) — Contributor — 1 copy
Stories of Sudden Truth (1953) — Contributor — 1 copy
The PL book of modern American short stories (1945) — Contributor — 1 copy
Los grandes cuentos del siglo veinte (1979) — Contributor — 1 copy
Introduction to Fiction (1974) — Contributor — 1 copy
Modern Short Stories — Contributor — 1 copy
The Avon Annual: 18 Great Story of Today (1944) — Contributor — 1 copy
Juvenile Delinquency in Literature (1980) — Contributor — 1 copy
O. Henry Memorial Award Prize Stories of 1934 (1934) — Contributor — 1 copy
Al pie del acantilado — Contributor — 1 copy

Tagged

20th century (118) American (133) American fiction (42) American literature (251) anthology (961) California (41) children's (46) classic (70) classics (74) collection (93) drama (166) essays (109) fiction (1,694) hardcover (39) high school (43) humor (57) literature (405) Newbery Honor (66) non-fiction (75) novel (117) own (58) paperback (47) patriotism (46) play (54) plays (135) read (75) realistic fiction (75) short fiction (84) short stories (1,417) short story (85) stories (95) theatre (79) to-read (251) unread (83) USA (47) William Saroyan (54) writing (138) WWII (60) YA (52) young adult (83)

Common Knowledge

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Book set in America about a young boy in Name that Book (May 2016)

Reviews

Beautiful. Heartwarming without being saccharine. A true classic.
 
Flagged
janerawoof | 25 other reviews | Mar 30, 2023 |
Boy in small town during WW2. Originally written in 1943.
 
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kslade | 25 other reviews | Dec 14, 2022 |
A beautiful play from a playwright who had multiple plays on Broadway at any one time.
 
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alphamonkeyme | 1 other review | Sep 10, 2022 |
It was a perfectly fine little story, but I didn't find any truly deep meaning in it.
 
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mattorsara | Aug 11, 2022 |

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Associated Authors

Don Freeman Illustrator
Elio Vittorini Translator, Traduction
Burgess Meredith Contributor
Lauri Miettinen Translator
Gustav Bernau Translator
Justinian Frisch Translator
Javier Calvo Translator
Claudia Tarolo Translator
Birgitta Hammar Translator
Sylva Manoogian Translator
Radivoj Dinić Translator
David Diaz Cover artist
Zdeněk Urbánek Translator
Bill Prochnow Illustrator
Herbert Gold Afterword
Helmut M. Braem Translator
Matouš Přikryl Illustrator
Jiří Josek Translator
Martin Hilský Afterword
Jakub Valenta Translator
Štěpán Dančo Illustrator
Henry Koerner Illustrator
Aram Saroyan Editor & Introduction
Valérie Dayre Translator
伊丹十三 Translator
Fabian Negrin Illustrations

Statistics

Works
236
Also by
252
Members
3,761
Popularity
#6,737
Rating
3.8
Reviews
79
ISBNs
224
Languages
21
Favorited
17

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