The Oyster and the Pearl

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The Oyster and the Pearl is a television play by William Saroyan (1908-1981)[1].

The original text

A parable about a Mexican Indian pearl diver named Kino who finds a valuable pearl and is transformed by the evil it attracts. Kino sees the pearl as his opportunity for a better life. When the townsfolk of La Paz learn of Kino's find, he is immediately set upon by a greedy priest, a doctor, and businessmen.

Broadcast as the first episode of the American TV series Omnibus on 15 February, 1953, directed by Andrew McCullough, with Alistair Cooke, Edward Binns, Paul Douglas, Hildy Parks and David Winters.

Widely published as a favourite prescribed work for schools, it was published for use in South African schools in the collection The Distance Remains and Other Plays, compiled by Robin Malan, Oxford University Press, 1996.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa


Robin Malan. 1996.The Distance Remains and Other Plays, Cape Town: Oxford University Press.

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