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Last edited by Lisa
October 6, 2019 | History

The laughing matter: a serious story. 3 editions

Cover of: The laughing matter | William Saroyan
About the Book

When Evan Nazarenus returns from a teaching post at the summer school in Nebraska, he cannot wait for a couple of blissful weeks spent with his wife and two children in Clovis, a small town where his brother has a summer house. But soon after they arrive for the long awaited holiday, Swan, Evan's wife, announces that she is expecting a child … who is not fathered by Evan.

This news shocks and hurts Evan deeply, but for his children's sake he decides to keep it to himself through the holidays they dreamt of for so long. But a family secret of such caliber is difficult to hide and the curious small-town neighbors begin to notice that something is amiss with the couple.

The Laughing Matter, first published in 1953, is a disturbing family drama set against the landscape of a small Californian town, with a close-knit community who embrace new-comers with the curiosity of those hungry for gossip. William Saroyan draws his characters with immense sensitivity for human erring and self-inflicted suffering.


Library of Congress PZ3.S246 Lau, PS3537.A826 Lau
Dewey 823.91

3 editions First published in 1953

Edition Read Locate Buy
Cover of: The laughing matter
The laughing matter: a serious story
1954, Faber and Faber
in English
Cover of: The laughing matter
Cover of: The laughing matter
The laughing matter: a novel.
1953, Doubleday
in English - [1st ed.]


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October 6, 2019 Edited by Lisa corrected author
October 6, 2019 Edited by Tom Morris merge authors
May 22, 2019 Edited by Raffi added description and location tags
April 20, 2016 Edited by Raffi Added new cover
December 9, 2009 Created by WorkBot add works page