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William Kennedy


William Kennedy was born in 1928 in Albany. His family were Irish-Catholic. He attended Sienna College, where he worked on the college newspaper and, after graduating, worked as a journalist. He also worked as a journalist when he was drafted into the army and continued in this career after being discharged, spending time in Puerto Rico and Miami. He later said the it was only after moving away from Albany that he began to appreciate Albany as a source of material for both his fiction and non-fiction. He returned to Albany when his father was ill and worked for the local paper and helped in exposing the O’Connell machine. His novels have Albany as their background. He is best known for his Albany trilogy (which has been expanded), about different periods in the twentieth-century history of Albany.

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William Kennedy
William J. Kennedy
Novelist William Kennedy draws full house


1969 The Ink Truck (novel)
1975 Legs (novel)
1978 Billy Phelan’s Greatest Game (novel)
1980 A Sense of Community: Diversity and Change
1983 Ironweed (novel)
1983 O Albany/Improbable City of Political Wizards, Fearless Ethnics, Spectacular Aristocrats, Splendid Nobodies and Underrated Scoundrels (journalism)
1986 Charlie Malarkey and the Belly-Button Machine (with Brendan Kennedy) (children’s)
1988 Quinn’s Book (novel)
1988 The Making of Ironweed
1992 Very Old Bones (novel)
1993 Riding the Yellow Trolley Car (essays, memoirs)
1994 Charlie Malarkey and the Singing Moose (with Brendan Kennedy) (children’s
1996 The Flaming Corsage (novel)
2002 Roscoe (novel)
2003 Roscoe and Me: The Specific and the Impossible
2011 Chango’s Beads and Two-Tone Shoes (novel)