My Name is Aram

By William Saroyan

Words from the achiever

“I loved William Saroyan’s stories. I read them pretty early, and I couldn’t get enough of the stories in the book, My Name is Aram, about life in the central valley of California. That was a world I didn’t know, of course, and I was knocked out by his humor and his style.”

About the book

A luminous series of stories inspired by Saroyan’s childhood in Fresno, California, and by his large and eccentric immigrant family.

My uncle Melik was just about the worst farmer that ever lived. He was too imaginative for his own good. What he wanted was beauty. He wanted to plant it and see it grow. I myself planted more than a hundred pomegranate trees. I drove a John Deere tractor, too, and so did my uncle. It was all art, not agriculture. My uncle just liked the idea of planting trees and watching them grow.

Only they wouldn’t grow. It was on account of the soil. The soil was desert soil. It was dry. My uncle waved at the six hundred and forty acres of desert he had bought and he said in the most poetic Armenian anybody had ever heard, Here in this awful desolation a garden shall flower, fountains of cold water shall bubble out of the earth, and all things of beauty shall come into being.

Yes sir, I said.