Madness in the Family

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Madness in the Family
Author William Saroyan
Editor Leo Hamalian
ISBN ISBN 0811210642
Language English

From Publishers Weekly

Saroyan has suffered the undeserved fate of a once-popular writer who outlives the time when his voice seemed fresh and ingratiating, surviving into a period that regards his work as sentimental, folksy and old-fashioned. This new collection of 17 of his better storiesincluding the late pieces that ran in the New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly and Harper'sshould help restore the balance. Inevitably, most of the tales center on the more peculiar endearing aspects of Armenian-American family life in Fresno, Calif., featuring some of the zany characters who pranced through the collected works. Uncle Voratan of the title story is convinced a man is not a man until he's gone mad and that an immigrant can't really call America home until someone in the family dies and is buried there. Those who remember young Aram with affection will enjoy "Fire," where a baffled boy watches his Uncle Gumyaz torch a house for the insurance money; and in "The Last Word Was Love"one of the more poignant and moving taleswhen an older brother leaves home to escape the incessant squabbling of their parents. Sweetness in these stories sometimes gives way to archness or outrageous whimsy, and some tales succumb to excessive preaching. But Saroyan was a benign presence in American letters, as this collection attests.

Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

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 sorted through works written from 1956 to 1981, 25 years of remarkable creativity. Those selected first appeared mainly in The New Yorker, Harper's, and Atlantic Monthly in the 1960s and 1970s, but even today they read as though they have been freshly minted from the Saroyan treasure house. A discovery for those who love Saroyan's fiction; his spark is still vibrantly alive.Glenn O. Carey, Eastern Kentucky Univ., Richmond

Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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