A favorite of library and community reading groups, William Kennedy
is best known for his novels Ironweed and Flaming Corsage. This
eminently readable book provides a helpful introduction to students
and others interested in his work. With engaging finesse, Michael
Patrick Gillespie provides a keen analysis of Kennedy's best-known
works, a firm base for interpretation, and a better understanding
of the cultural world that shapes the characters and informs the
plots of Kennedy's novels.
Rather than laying down what one should see when reading
Kennedy's works, the book moves to the next stage of exploring
diverse responses to Kennedy's canon, broadening the reader's
awareness of the range of alternative strategies and
Gillespie begins with an introduction that lays out the
imaginative context for Kennedy's work. Subsequent chapters, in
three parts, provide extended treatments of his early work, key
elements in the first three Albany novels, and finally the maturity
of his overall fiction.
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