Madness in the Family

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New Directions, 1988 - American literature - 141 pages
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A collection of short stories that were originally published in the 1960s and 1970s in The New Yorker, Atlantic monthly, and Harper's.

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Madness in the family

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What a delight to find 17 of Saroyan's uncollected stories under one cover! To assemble these charming tales, all blessed with Saroyan's pixieish imagination and magical writing style, editor Hamalian ... Read full review

Contents

Madness in the Family
1
Fire
5
What a World Said the Bicycle Rider
9
Copyright

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About the author (1988)

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 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.

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