“I don’t have a name and I don’t have a plot. I have the typewriter and I have white paper and I have me, and that should add up to a novel.”

WILLIAM SAROYAN, when asked the name of his next book.


William Saroyan (1908-1981) was an American writer of Armenian descent who grew up in the Fresno, California, area, where many of his stories (plays, novels, short stories) take place. He is best known for his play The Time of Your Life — winner of the 1940 Pulitizer Prize — and his novel The Human Comedy (1943). Saroyan enjoyed a long and prolific career — and was the author of over 25 books, around 30 plays, and numerous short stories. In 1943, he won an Oscar for Best Story for the film version of his novel The Human Comedy

Getting back to the Saroyan quote at the top of this post…this was one writer who could feel confident when he sat down with a typewriter and white paper that he could come up with a story — he had lots of practice doing just that.

PHOTO: William Saroyan and typewriter, awaiting the arrival of some white paper.