Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Mama I Love You, William Saroyan, Little Brown and Company, 1956, 245 pp

 I am pretty much over Saroyan. I have read all of his novels in publishing date order since My Name is Aram. I learned in the biography I read about him that he had big alimony payments, so had to keep writing books for the income. The dedication of this one is to his daughter Lucy and the story is autobiographical. A young girl named Twink and her divorced mother go to New York in search of a part in a play for the mother. In fact, they each land a part in the same play, with ten-year-old Twink playing a young girl.

  The story covers all the steps of producing and opening a play which I found interesting. Although Saroyan's writing is as mundane as ever, I stayed interested and the pages went quickly. 1955 and 1956 must have been the top years about kids living in posh New York hotels and apartments: Eloise at the Plaza, Patrick Dennis with his Auntie Mame at Beekman Place and now Twink at the Pierre. I was turning nine in 1956 and I did grow up thinking that the ultimate lifestyle would be to live in New York in a posh hotel.

 Twink had that lifestyle at the age of ten and after many months decided to move on. If I had read Mama I Love You instead of Eloise, I could have gotten over my hotel obsession sooner. Ah well, now we have Priceline, so it is all good.

(Mama I Love You is out of print, available at libraries and used booksellers.)

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