William kennedy Books

KENNEDY, WILLIAM Joseph (Kennedy, William Joseph) (b. 1928), American novelist, in whose books the history of the city of Albany found its artistic embodiment. Kennedy did for Albany (the administrative center of the state of New York) what J. Joyce did for Dublin and Saul Bellow for Chicago. Launched in 1975, a series of six novels, set in this city, equated literary Albany with Faulkner`s Yoknapatof. Kennedy was born on January 16, 1928 in the northern part of Albany. In 1949 he graduated from the College of Siena and took up journalism. He was a sports columnist for The Post Star in Glens Falls; Drafted into military service in 1950, he worked for an army newspaper in Europe, then for the Times Union in Albany. In 1956 he was invited to a newspaper in Puerto Rico, in 1959 he became editor of the English daily San Juan Star published in Puerto Rico. Two years later he devoted himself to writing. The first novel, The Ink Truck (1969), follows a newspaper strike in a vividly recreated but as yet unnamed Albany. Positive responses to the novel have appeared in leading periodicals. The first two novels from the Albany cycle are Legs (1975; in Russian translation – Jack Diamond), a romanized biography of a local gangster, and Billy Phelan`s Greatest Game (1978), which tells kidnapping of a child from a family running Democratic affairs in the city – were a success with critics, but not with the general public. With the release of the third novel of the cycle, The Thistle (Ironweed, 1983; in Russian translation – The Iron Weed), Kennedy took his rightful place in contemporary American literature. The hero of the book is Billy Phelan`s brother Francis, who is trying to single-handedly pay for the mistakes of the past and defeat his inner demons. The book won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Literary Critics Circle Prize. Kennedy wrote the script for the film with the participation of J. Nicholson and Meryl Streep in 1987 by the Brazilian director E. Babenko. This was his second script; he co-wrote the film “Cotton Club” with Fr. F. Coppola in 1986. The first three novels of the cycle are set during the depression years, the next three recreate other periods of Albany`s history. The plot of “Quinn`s Book” (1988), in the picaresque genre, is based on the adventures of a 19th century man. Phelan`s ancestor Daniel Queen. Set in the 1950s, Very Old Bones (1992) focuses on the fate of the illegitimate son of the artist Peter Phelan. “The Flaming Corsage” (1996) is dedicated to the whirlwind romance between Katrina Taylor, the mistress of Francis Phelan, and Edward Dougherty; the action covers the last decades of the 19th century. and the first decades of the 20th century. Other works by Kennedy: “Oh, Albany! An incredible city of political wizards, fearless Aborigines, imposing aristocrats, brilliant nonentities and underrated scoundrels “(O, Albany! Improbable City of Political Wizards, Fearless Ethnics, Spectacular Aristocrats, Splendid Nobodies, and Underrated Scoundrels, 1983) – a collection of articles novels; Riding the Yellow Trolley Car (1993) is a collection of essays, memoirs, reviews and reports. He also owns two children`s books, written with his son Brendan – Charlie Malarkey and the Belly Button Machine (1986) and Charlie Malarkey and the Singing Moose (1993 ). His first feature-length play, Grand View (1996), premiered in the spring of 1996 at the Albany Repertory Theater. Kennedy is a professor at the Albany-based English department of the State University of New York. In 1993 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Winner of numerous literary awards, member of the board of the National Endowment for the Arts. Awarded with the Regent`s Medal of the State University of New York and the Governor`s Award for Achievement in the Arts. Commander of the French Order of Merit for Art and Literature, member of the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Serves on the Board of Directors of the New York State Board of Humanities. Working on the novel Roscoe, continuing the Albany cycle. taken from the site Around the World http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Kennedy_%28author% 29

The Flaming Corsage

Very Old Bones


Quinn`s Book


Chango`s Beads and Two-Tone Shoes

Billy Phelan`s Greatest Game