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Ironweed
     

Ironweed

3.6 5
by William Kennedy
 

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Ironweed is the best-known of William Kennedy's three Albany-based novels. Francis Phelan, ex-ballplayer, part-time gravedigger, full-time drunk, has hit bottom. Years ago he left Albany in a hurry after killing a scab during a trolley workers' strike; he ran away again after accidentally - and fatally - dropping his infant son. Now, in 1938, Francis is back in

Overview

Ironweed is the best-known of William Kennedy's three Albany-based novels. Francis Phelan, ex-ballplayer, part-time gravedigger, full-time drunk, has hit bottom. Years ago he left Albany in a hurry after killing a scab during a trolley workers' strike; he ran away again after accidentally - and fatally - dropping his infant son. Now, in 1938, Francis is back in town, roaming the old familiar streets with his hobo pal, Helen, trying to make peace with the ghosts of the past and the present...

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Rich in plot and dramatic tension . . . almost Joycean in its variety of rhetoric . . . the novel goes straight for the throat and the funnybone.”
The New York Times

“Astonishing . . . Kennedy’s ambitious vision and soaring imaginative powers make this book one of the richest, most startling, and most satisfying novels of recent years.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer

“A beautifully sorrowful novel.  Kennedy asks us again to confront the mystery of human behavior.  And as he illuminates it, we share in one’s man’s struggle to understand his life.”
The Washington Post

“Kennedy’s power is such that the reader will follow him almost anywhere, to the edge of tragedy and back again to redemption.”
– The Wall Street Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781402890185
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date:
02/28/1984
Series:
Albany Cycle , #3
Pages:
227
Product dimensions:
5.05(w) x 7.74(h) x 0.49(d)

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"A powerfully affecting work, abounding in humor and heartbreak."Chicago Tribune Bookworld

"A remarkable and most original novel."Alison Lurie

Alison Lurie
"It is a remarkable and most original novel, which combines low comedy with high pathos."

Meet the Author

William Kennedy, author, screenwriter and playwright, was born and raised in Albany, New York. Kennedy brought his native city to literary life in many of his works. The Albany cycle, includes Legs, Billy Phelan's Greatest Game, and the Pulitzer Prize winning Ironweed.The versatile Kennedy wrote the screenplay for Ironweed, the play Grand View, and cowrote the screenplay for the The Cotton Club with Francis Ford Coppola. Kennedy also wrote the nonfiction O Albany! and Riding the Yellow Trolley Car. Some of the other works he is known for include Roscoe and Very Old Bones.

Kennedy is a professor in the English department at the State University of New York at Albany. He is the founding director of the New York State Writers Institute and, in 1993, was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has received numerous literary awards, including the Literary Lions Award from the New York Public Library, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and a Governor’s Arts Award. Kennedy was also named Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters in France and a member of the board of directors of the New York State Council for the Humanities.

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Ironweed 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hurrah for the excellence of Mr. Kennedy. Nowonder it has won the Pulizter prize.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
William Kennedy is probably the finest living American writer. To pass over on one of his books is like a movie buff passing on Citizen Kane or The Godfather. He is simply a genius.