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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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They had their own office right in our quarters on Fifty-seventh Street. We gave them a room there.


So is that how you met William Saroyan the first time?


We talked about him first. Whit said, “This boy's got great talent.” We wrote to him and signed him up before I met him. I didn't meet him until after the book came out. Then I brought him to New York.

Everybody liked him. He was a most engaging man and still is. He's a wild man. We've published his son's book of poetry this year, and his daughter Lucy is one of my son Cris's best friends. She's a darling girl. And the girl that Bill finally married, Carol Grace...we published a book by her called Secret of the Daisies. She divorced Bill and is now married to Walter Matthau. She's an enchanting girl and so is her daughter Lucy.

Saroyan didn't stay with Random House for a very funny reason. After The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze, he fished out of trunks all of the stories he had ever written in his life for his second book of stories. They would have come to about a thousand pages, and we very carefully winnowed out about three-fourths of them and did a book called Inhale and Exhale, the stories we rated worthy. Bill accepted the verdict. About six months later, however, he came and said, “I've got a whole wonderful new bunch of stories” and they were the ones that I had thrown out of

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