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Guide to the William Saroyan Notebooks, 1932-1939
M1022  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Collection Scope and Content Summary
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: William Saroyan notebooks,
    Date (inclusive): 1932-1939
    Collection number: M1022
    Creator: Saroyan, William, 1908-1981
    Extent: 1.25 linear ft.
    Repository: Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
    Abstract: 1568 notebook leaves documenting chiefly the apprenticeship and early success of Saroyan. The great bulk of the entries are notes on, ideas for or titles of short stories, bracketed by resolutions, observations, and, less frequently, personal data on how much money he has, or has not; debts; horse-racing notes; notes of walks or reading; personalities; radio shows, films, etc. (from dealer's description)
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections.

    Preferred Citation

    William Saroyan Notebooks. M1022. Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    Acquisition Information

    Purchased, 1998.

    Biography

    Novelist, short-story writer, dramatist, and essayist, William Saroyan was born in Fresno, California in 1908. A high-school dropout, Saroyan was largely self-educated and decided at an early age to pursue a career as a writer, drawing on his experience as an Armenian-American growing up in California.
    His first published works were sketches in The Overland Monthly in 1928, which inspired him to seek his fortune in New York City. In 1934 Story Magazine printed "The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze." The immediate public acclaim led to publication of the collection The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze and Other Stories (1934) by Random House. He followed this success with two more short story collections in 1936, Three Times Three and Inhale and Exhale.
    Transforming one of these stories into his first dramatic production, My Heart's in the Highlands (1939), Saroyan then wrote The Time of Your Life (1939-40), for which he received both New York Drama Critics' Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize. The same year he released the story collection, My Name is Aram (1940), a Book of the Month Club selection.
    In late 1941 Saroyan agreed to work for Louis B. Mayer in Hollywood. This resulted both in the Oscar-winning MGM film, The Human Comedy, (1943) as well as the popular novelized version of the original screenplay, published by Harcourt Brace simultaneously with the movie's opening.
    Drafted into the army, Saroyan was stationed during part of World War II in London, where he wrote the controversial anti-war book, The Adventures of Wesley Jackson (1946). Through the 1950s he continued to produce plays, short stories, and novels. He then turned to personal memoirs to express himself, producing in succession The Bicycle Rider in Beverly Hills (1952), Here Comes, There Goes, You Know Who (1961), Not Dying (1963), and Obituaries (1980), which was nominated for the American Book Award. A final volume of reminiscence, Births (1983), was published posthumously.

    Collection Scope and Content Summary

    1568 notebook leaves documenting chiefly the apprenticeship and early success of Saroyan. The great bulk of the entries are notes on, ideas for or titles of short stories, bracketed by resolutions, observations, and, less frequently, personal data on how much money he has, or has not; debts; horse-racing notes; notes of walks or reading; personalities; radio shows, films, etc. (from dealer's description)

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    American literature--20th century.