Chestertown, MD — Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist William Kennedy will read from his work at 4 p.m., Friday March 24 in the Norman James Theatre at Washington College.
Kennedy is best known as the author of the "Albany Cycle," seven novels set in a semi-fictional Albany, N.Y. The narrative force of his fiction spurred critic James Atlas to write, "What James Joyce did for Dublin and Saul Bellow did for Chicago, William Kennedy has done for Albany, New York. His cycle of Albany novels is one of the great resurrections of place in our literature."
Kennedy's Albany novels include "Legs" (1983); "Billy Phelan's Greatest Game" (1978); "Ironweed" (1983), which was subsequently made into a movie starring Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep; "Quinn's Book" (1988); "Very Old Bones" (1992); and "The Flaming Corsage" (1996). His latest work, "Roscoe," deals with the life of the all-powerful political machine that ran Albany between World War I and II.
Kennedy, whose writing has been characterized as "funny . . . rich . . . grounded in detail and humanity . . . pure verbal energy" won a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Circle Critics award for Ironweed. He received a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship, a portion of which supports the New York State Writers Institute.
William Kennedy appears courtesy of the Sophie Kerr Committee and the O'Neill Literary House. The reading is part of Sophie Kerr Weekend during which high school student writers are invited to Washington College for readings and writing workshops. Kennedy's reading is free and open to the public.