Asbarez – In celebration of 110th anniversary of Pulitzer Prize and Academy Award winner William Saroyan’s birth, the Central Library presents the exhibit “My Name is Aram,” on view through October 7 and a performance of his unpublished works to be held on Saturday, September 15 at 7 p.m. Both are free and open to the public at the Central Library, 630 W. Fifth St, downtown.
The exhibit features 45 images as well as quotes highlighting the life of Saroyan, a Pulitzer Prize and Academy Award winning author, playwright, storyteller, maverick and humanist, said Ani Boyadjian, exhibit curator and manager of the Los Angeles Public Library’s Research and Special Collections. The exhibit features photographs of Saroyan, taken primarily during two visits to Armenia in 1976 and 1978 by photographer Boghos Boghossian.
The exhibition bookends the performance of “William Saroyan: The Unpublished Plays in Performance,” created expressly for library’s L.A. Made series by awardwinning Playwright Aram Kouyoumdjian. The performance will be held in Central Library’s Taper Auditorium at 7 pm on Saturday, September 15 and is free to the public. Parking in the lot under the library is $8. A reception will follow the performance in the library’s courtyard. “We are happy to introduce a new generation to William Saroyan, who in the past was considered one of the greats like Hemingway or F. Scott Fitzgerald,” said Boyadjian. “We hope Angelenos who have not been exposed to William Saroyan will understand both his significance in the American literary canon as well as his cultural impact on Armenians and issues of identity, which is a universal issue for all immigrants.”
The quotes highlighted in the exhibit were taken from published works from Saroyan’s six decades as a master of dialogue and the written word. Some of his most acclaimed works center on issues of his Armenian ethnicity and diasporan identity, which raise profound questions about humanity’s universal pain and the paradox of exile.
Special thanks to Varoujan Der Simonian of the Armenian Museum of Fresno for granting permission for use of the images used in the exhibition, and to Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Krekorian and his wife Tamar for their steadfast support of both the exhibit and the performance.
A recipient of the nation’s highest honor for library service—the National Medal from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Los Angeles Public Library serves the largest and most diverse urban population of any library in the nation. Its Central Library, 72 branch libraries, collection of more than 6 million books, state-of-theart technology accessible at www.lapl.org, and more than 18,000 public programs a year provide everyone with free and easy access to information and the opportunity for life-long learning.