William Saroyan: Ethnic and Family Identities in Universal Settings
As a particular cultural production, migration literature, increasingly heralded as a new world literature, internationalised literature or world fiction – is a form of transnational writing, concerned mostly with cosmopolitan issues. The universalism of migration literature, however, is based on national or ethnic tradition. Moreover, it is manifested through original life experiences and attitudes that are typical of ethnic expressions of identities. The significant point that this paper emphasises is the fact that William Saroyan is an author who represents a dynamic Armenian-American cultural blend, moving both universal and ethnic literary expressions to new heights. His works demonstrate clearly both his universality and his adherence to national heritage – his ethnic and family identities are employed in his distinct western settings and tones.