During William Saroyan’s life as a writer, 1934 was an important year. His first collection of stories, The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze, was met with popular and critical acclaim capped by the O. Henry Award for the title story, which also appeared in Story magazine in 1934. ‘‘Resurrection of a Life’’ was first published in Story magazine in 1935. It was such a strong story that Saroyan chose to include it in his much-anticipated second collection of short fiction, Inhale & Exhale (1936).
‘‘Resurrection of a Life’’ is typical of Saroyan’s short fiction in style and content. Stylistically, the story is representative of Saroyan’s short stories in its first-person narration, rambling plot line, and ultimately optimistic outlook. The story’s content is typical of Saroyan’s work in its autobiographical elements, inclusion of the subject of death, and optimistic tone.