Famous Armenians -- William Saroyan


"I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia. See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia." William Saroyan



Saroyan, William (1908-1981), American writer, born in Fresno, California. His early writings frequently deal with his beloved Armenian family and its capacity for joy in the face of adversity. Notable among these works are the collection of short stories My Name Is Aram (1940) and the novel The Human Comedy (1943). Saroyan's many plays, lyrical and loosely constructed, include My Heart's in the Highlands, which was produced to much acclaim in 1939, and The Time of Your Life, for which he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1940. Saroyan refused to accept the award for a work he deemed no more laudable than any of his others.