Try to learn to breathe deeply; really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell.
– William Saroyan, Advice to a Young Writer
On Christmas Eve I received a parcel from California. There was no name on it and I didn’t recognize the address. Inside was “The Whole Voyald and Other Short Stories” by William Saroyan, 1956, First Edition, Little Brown and Co. The sender included no note, just a holiday postcard postmarked December, 1919.
I’m very touched by every bit of it – the book, the mystery, the little card addressed simply to Miss Clara Durham, Whitehall, Mich. She doesn’t own to it, but Saroyan was a contemporary of Fante and speaks to me of Flynn. It’s possible, but it’d be a tremendous coincidence if it were from anyone else.
Saroyan was an Armenian-American dramatist and author from Fresno, California. His stories celebrated optimism in the midst of the trials and tribulations of the Depression, although his approach to autobiographical fact contained a fair bit of poetic license. Saroyan endeavored to create a prose style full of zest for life and seemingly impressionistic, that came to be called “Saroyanesque”.