SAROYAN, WILLIAM. 1908-1981.
Typed Letter Signed ("William Saroyan") with holograph corrections, 1 p, legal folio, June 5, 1978, Fresno, California, to Robert M. Weintraub, folding crease, light wrinkling at corners, tiny chip to one margin.
Provenance: Collection of Robert M. Weintraub.
WITH AN UNPUBLISHED STORY BY SAROYAN. When ad executive Robert Weintraub sent out a request to one hundred well-known people asking for their favorite cookie story as part of a PR campaign for Nabisco the present letter from Saroyan was one of the few responses he received. In the letter, Saroyan relates a roughly 550 word story from his childhood in Fresno, about a local Finnish baker known for having a barrel of broken or stale cookies from which customers were invited to take for free. One day Saroyan's friend Eddie Emerian informs him that the baker is giving away the whole barrel to whoever wants it. Though he resolves to take it home himself, Saroyan misses his chance; shortly after he has the first of what becomes a frequently recurring dream about getting the barrel home. Saroyan reflects at the story's end: "The Finn baker retired, the bakery disappeared, the dream of the free barrel of cookies is still alive, even though I long ago knew that Eddie Emerian had invented the whole story, for he himself told me so before either of us became eleven years old. What does this mean? It means that art and cookies, imagination and longing, comedy and appetite, the real and the unreal are so closely related as to be virtually indistinguishable one from the other." The letter closes with requests for free cases of cookies to be sent to his sister and his son-in-law.