The Human Comedy (1943)
February 25, 1943
Illustrations by Don Freeman
Based on Saroyan's original screen treatment for MGM. MGM co-founder and studio boss Louis B. Mayer hired Saroyan to write the screenplay, but turned out to be far too long, and the assignment was turned over to Howard Estabrook, who based his screenplay on Saroyan's treatment. Saroyan would win the Oscar for Best Story in 1944.
Spent 15 weeks on the New York Times Best Sellers list, peaking at #2.
Was the March 1943 Book-of-the-Month Club selection.
Issued as an Armed Services Edition in September 1943.
Adapted as the film Ithica by Meg Ryan in 2015. Meg Ryan would also read an audiobook edition of The Human Comedy that same year.
In 1943, Nick Hoffer created La Comédie Humaine, a comic strip based on The Human Comedy for Le Petit Journal,
The Human Comedy was also adapted for an episode of The DuPont Show of the Month in March 1959.
A musical adaptation premiered at Joseph Papp's Public Theatre in 1983, eventually moving to Broadway in 1984.
UK edition published by Faber & Faber in 1943
Translated into several languages, including German, Japanese, Russian, Armenian, Spanish, French, Danish, and Dutch.
In the Forever Saroyan collection: