By Tara Albert
And yet the house he lived in after his birth on August 31, 1908, was long ago torn down to make way for progress. After his death in 1981, local libraries, museums and Fresno State had a chance to keep a treasure trove of his published and unpublished manuscripts, his artwork and correspondence and diary. Instead, most of the Saroyan collection was allowed to slip away to the University of California at Berkeley, and now Stanford University.
For many years, the items that remained in Fresno became part of a highly regarded permanent Saroyan exhibit at the Met. It took up a full room and included rare photographs and letters, his typewriter and the Oscar he won for the screenplay of his novel, The Human Comedy.