William Saroyan • An Armenian Trilogy
edited by Dickran Kouymjian
The plays in An Armenian Trilogy offer a first glimpse into a previously unknown Saroyan. The expected humor is in them, the fast talk, paradoxes, and humanity too, but they also contain the Pulitzer Prize winning playwright’s concern for his own people, the Armenians. Saroyan exploits his masterly understanding of this disinherited nation to show the universal sorrow and tenacious struggle of all people forced to live in exile.
Armenians, which takes place in Fresno in 1921, recounts the tragedy of the Armenian nation shortly after it happened. Bitlis picks up the story four decades later in the very Armenian town–now part of Turkey–where the Saroyans originated. Finally, Haratch reflects on the Armenian dilemma in 1979, in Paris where Saroyan had established a second residence. The characters and conditions change, but the problems and questions remain eternal. Saroyan faces them all with his own challenging philosophy.
In a penetrating Introductory Essay and a meticulous Glossary, Dickran Kouymjian situates these plays in Saroyan’s literary career.
Pub 86. 5.38x8.5”, 198 pps, 57 illus; P/$12.95; ISBN 0-912201-07-X / 978-0-912201-07-8 (paper out of stock)
C/$21.95; ISBN 0-912201-06-1 / 978-0-912201-06-1