This week on From the Vault we feature American novelist and playwright William Saroyan. Winner of the New York Critics’ Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize for his 1940 play The Time of Your Life, and winner of a 1943 Academy Award for the adaptation of his short story The Human Comedy, Saroyan often focused his pen on stories involving Armenian immigrant life in California. In 1965, Saroyan addressed an auditorium of English teachers at San Francisco State University, resisting the urge to dispense advice. Instead, he reflected on his own troubles in school learning to read and write, and argued that learning is a subtle process that “happens by presence, glance… and that unidentifiable condition which says to the other person ‘O.K.’ instead of ‘not a chance’.”
From the Vault is presented as part of the Pacifica Radio Archives Preservation and Access Project, funded in part by an award from the GRAMMY Foundation and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission at the National Archives and Records Administration, and past grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ford Foundation, and the American Archive funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, along with the generous support of Pacifica Radio Listeners. We also thank our partners and collaborators at the Pop-Up Archive, Amara, Other Minds Archives, George Blood Audio, and the California Audio Visual Preservation Project.
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