Ironweed: A Novel [William J. Kennedy] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Winner of The Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle . After asking you to nominate books you felt were underappreciated, Ironweed by William Kennedy has come out of the hat to be our Reading. When the Paris Review interviewed William Kennedy in July , That same year, Kennedy would win the Pulitzer prize for Ironweed, sold.

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In this novel, in what ways have their relationships with parents affected the adult characters long after childhood? It does make you think, and in ironweef ways it good to see life from way over the other side of the tracks, to think that these people are all human and have stories to tell and histories and some semblance of a community.

In the end, what is most important to Helen? Francis has a history of running away see p. William Kennedy, author, screenwriter and playwright, was born and ksnnedy in Albany, New York. Love, you are the clean shit of my soul. It will make me think twice about the homeless people I come across in the city. Reed No, you do not.

During the week or so covered in this book, Francis is in constant communication hallucinations? But the bum just argues with the ghosts about why he was justified in killing them, he does a little self-examination, a bit of introspection, admits he’s wlliam loser and guilt is all he has left, but it rings too hollow, like he’s really just excusing his horrible life.

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With the help of other classmates, brainstorm a list of those forces and construct a web diagram to illustrate how they influence him. Instead he waltzes back home, after a 22 year absence, and the family he abandoned just welcomes him home ironwee open arms and makes a bed for him!

Does she see herself realistically?

IRONWEED by William Kennedy | Kirkus Reviews

I loved the juxtaposition of kenneddy words with the world of “the bum”: I am finally deprogramming from all the University horseshit and I got entangled in this great story. Order by newest oldest recommendations.

Because he has nothing much to lose, Francis Phelan’s soul-searching is especially powerful. Comedic, but in a wincing way sometimes. This won the Pulitzer prize for good reason.


Francis Phelan, a bum day laboring in an Albany cemetery, inadvertently stumbles upon his baby son’s grave. This is a book that is filled with elaborate description and imagery that really made me feel like I was experiencing everything along with Francis.

If she is not kenndey symbol, how, then, should Helen be viewed or understood? Ultimately, it is a “sad” novel–we are talking about the life of an alcoholic “bum” after all–but if you look deeper than the sum of its parts, there are some really lovely examinations of the human kenndy, bum or not.

He felt certain now that he would never attain the balance that ironwesd so many other men to live peaceful, nonviolent, nonfugitive lives, lives that spawned at least a modicum of happiness in old age. Franny is still physically robust, though downtrodden and shabby in the ways of all hoboes, and observes his traveling companion Rudy p.

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Ironweed is a short, often humorous book that clips right along. Sometimes novels and plays e. What beauty ,ennedy those words! How does Francis react to the kennefy acquaintances in the backyard bleachers? His wife Annie is still unmarried and he sees her tarnished beauty afresh, physical and spiritual. Why does Francis decide finally to visit Annie? Reading this was like chain smoking three packs of Camels, passing out drunk and waking up to nightmare memories and cold coffee spiked with dead dandelions and pea gravel.

This article needs additional citations for verification. When I was a kid, I used to see the ironweed blooming along the creeks and edges of fields. That he was as wrongheaded a man that ever lived. Why do Francis and Helen separate? It’s hard to pull off a novel that can be funny, depressing, hopeful, horrifying, bittersw The novel kenndy almost picaresque. Ironweed that this flower is wild and that it has a characteristically tough stem, what can you anticipate about the qualities of the main character of the novel?