Mariam Hovnuni
Surprise for fans of William Saroyan
Great writer William Saroyan was born to a family of Armenian refugees in Fresno, California. He worked as a postman, and neither he nor his parents could imagine that there would come a day when the name William Saroyan would be remembered along with American writers like Hemingway, Steinbeck and Faulkner.

Located at Griffith Way, according to the data regarding public property in Fresno, William Saroyan’s home was foreclosed after his death. It had three different owners and was put up for an auction twice. The beloved writer’s home has been rented and illegally owned for years. Today, the home is specified in the local registry and registered as a historic monument. Currently, Intellectual Renaissance Foundation has purchased the home to turn it into a home-museum.

Realizing the universal importance of Saroyan’s heritage and with the desire to save the home from demolition, the villa was purchased by Artur Janibekyan’s Intellectual Renaissance Foundation, which has been making great efforts to present Armenian intellectual potential in the international arena for the past two years. One of the main purposes of purchasing the villa is to turn Saroyan’s dream of turning the home into a home-museum into a reality.

Within the scope of the Saroyan House Project, Intellectual Renaissance Foundation has created a Saroyan Fan Club, the opening and first meeting of which was held on April 29, 2016. Among the attendees were poet Razmik Davoyan, RA Minister of Culture Hasmik Poghosyan, the writer’s friends, relatives and simply fans of Saroyan, for whom any item connected to Saroyan is precious.

The Minister welcomed the idea of creating a Saroyan fan club and stated that the Ministry of Culture has supported the club from the very first minute it was created and welcomes every idea. 

The Minister mentioned that she acknowledged such an act of one individual with great joy. “This fan club has to serve as a platform for creators where young writers can spend time, get to know Saroyan’s heritage and create with motivation.”

According to the Minister, the program is   so clear and concrete that it will definitely be a success.

According to the Foundation’s programs coordinator Avag Simonyan, the writer’s house is currently in poor condition. “We are currently working on the plan for the home. We plan on renovating a part of it and making it look like it used to. There will also be innovative solutions. Those visiting the home-museum will have the chance to see the home as Saroyan or one of the main characters of Saroyan,” Simonyan said.

During the meeting, the organizers said their main purpose now was to collect Saroyan’s personal items.