Small towns are fiercely proud of their local heroes who have made it big on the world stage. Fresno is no exception. This blip of a metropolis in the center of California gave birth to Pulitzer Prize winner William Saroyan.
Today, the William Saroyan Society is dedicated to keeping the author’s memory alive and to “to educate the public about the human values depicted in his works; to promote the heritage of the Armenian/American culture and its unique and rich experience.”
Fresno has been home to a large Armenian community since the end of the 19th century when immigrants arrived in the Central Valley to work in the region’s rich agriculture sector. Today, the Armenian/American population is still an integral part of Fresno cultural diversity.
Delving into the city’s Armenian past and exploring Saroyan’s personal connection with it will be the focus of a walking tour on April 21 in downtown Fresno. Participants will tour the city’s Armenian Town and the important role various locations played in Saroyan’s writings. The event starts at 9:30 in front of the William Saroyan Theater (naturally).