The Time of Our Life

In a brand new special series from Valley Public Radio, award-winning journalist and author Mark Arax offers a special perspective on our times, viewed through the lens of writer William Saroyan. 

Each week, Valley writers will read a short story by Saroyan, and we’ll discuss its relevance.

As Mark Arax writes: “Saroyan’s voice is a perfect one for our time--the time of coronavirus. The urban roar has become a whisper. Everything has been reduced to the elemental. We live each day for a moment—the deep breath of a hike, the feel of the sun, the taste of a meal we have cooked ourselves.  We’ve returned to Saroyan time.”

Join us Thursday nights at 8pm for The Time of Our Life.  Sponsored by Paul Halajian Architects.

Episode One: Marx Arax reads Saroyan's "The Summer of the Beautiful White Horse"

Episode Two: Tanya Nichols reads Saroyan's "The Pomegranate Trees"

Episode Three: Marisol Baca reads The Hummingbird That Lived Through Winter & "The Daring Young Man On the Flying Trapeze"

Episode Four: Aris Janigian reads "The Armenian and The Armenian"

Episode Five: Brynn Saito reads "The Journey to Hanford

Episdoe Six: Kenneth Chacon reads "70,000 Assyrians"

Episode Seven: Mark Arax reads "Laughing Sam"

Courtesy Mark Arax

The Time of Our Life returns this week with a bonus episode. For episode seven, Mark Arax reads two short stories by William Saroyan, Laughing Sam and The Poor and Burning Arab.  

Kenneth Chacón

This week on The Time of Our Life with Mark Arax Fresno poet Kenneth Chacón reads William Saroyan's "70,000 Assyrians" and discusses the impact of Saroyan on his own work and on our times.

Courtesy Brynn Saito

This week on The Time of Our Life, Fresno writer Brynn Saito reads William Saroyan’s The Journey to Hanford and a Saroyan essay on writing. Brynn Saito is a poet and professor in the English Department at Fresno State, and the author of two books of poetry. Together with Nikiko Masumoto, she’s the co-founder of Yonsei Memory Project, which creates inter-generational spaces for ‘memory keeping’ within the Japanese American community and in alliance with other communities and movements for justice and healing.

Courtesy Aris Janigian

This week on The Time of Our Life, Fresno writer Aris Janigian reads William Saroyan's Five Ripe Pears and The Armenian and The Armenian.  With host Mark Arax, Aris discusses Saroyan’s influence on his own work. The author of five novels, Aris Janigian is a writer, academic, and a wine grape packer and shipper. His latest novel is Waiting for Sophia at Shutters on the Beach.

Courtesy Marisol Baca

Our guest this week on The Time of Our Life is Fresno Poet Laureate and Fresno City College instructor Marisol Baca, whose poetry collection Tremor was published by 3 Mile Harbor Press. In this episode, Baca reads William Saroyan's The Hummingbird That Lived Through Winter and The Daring Young Man On the Flying Trapeze, and she and Mark Arax discuss the divergent styles in these two very different Saroyan stories.

Courtesy Tanya Nichols

This week on The Time of Our Life, Fresno writer Tanya Nichols reads The Pomegranate Trees, which is part of Saroyan’s collection of short stories My Name Is Aram. Mark Arax and Tanya Nichols discuss themes of agriculture in Saroyan and in her latest novel, Stinger, co-written with Bill McEwen.

Courtesy Mark Arax

This week on the debut episode of the special series "The Time of Our Life", Mark Arax reads William Saroyan's The Summer of the Beautiful White Horse, originally published in 1940 as part of My Name Is Aram, a collection of short stories by Saroyan. Arax also shares recollections of his interactions with Saroyan, who was a family friend.

In a brand new special series from Valley Public Radio, award-winning journalist and author Mark Arax offers a special perspective on our times, viewed through the lens of writer William Saroyan. 

Each week, Valley writers will read a short story by Saroyan, and we’ll discuss its relevance.