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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It captures what seems most true about what drives these poor souls to the road and what keeps them there.

Ironweed by William Kennedy – Reading Guide – : Books

Was the author trying to humanize the bum with this obvious revelation? Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. How is Francis received by Annie and the rest of his family? Irpnweed week, our editors select the one author and one book they believe to be most worthy of your attention and highlight them in our Pro Connect email alert.

Things were suddenly going well for Kennedy, but overnight success had been a long time coming. No montages, sudden revelations and epiphanies. Francis Phelan was on a long journey away from the circumstances of his existence, but eventually found himself trying to go home.

When I was a kid, I used to see the ironweed blooming along the creeks and edges of fields. Retrieved from ” https: Kenmedy could you resume your life as a responsible, contributing adult after something like that? Novels usually have a protagonist and one or more antagonists.


Was the author trying to channel Steinbeck and failed?

I do not recommend this book to just anyone. Please provide an email address.

Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. It is a stand alone book.

Perhaps wililam grinding life on the street was actually a game. It placed at number ninety-two on the Modern Library list of the Best Novels written in English in the 20th Century and is also included in the Western Canon of the critic Harold Bloom. Certain elements of the story, particularly the wrap up, are a little pat but it is still a must read.

He left his family. I first read Ironweed over 30 years ago; I’m glad I read it again with more years under my belt–because age has allowed me to understand and possibly empathize with Francis, the damaged protagonist of this gritty novel. A lot of the book consists of rambling conversations between Francis and other people ar Ironweed Review Ironweed is the story of Francis Phelan, a homeless man trying to survive on the streets of the American city of Wiliam during the Great Depression.

Ironweed shows vividly what it means to live on the fringes.

Ironweed (novel) – Wikipedia

He scrimps enough money to buy a turkey for his estranged family; he shows a few baseball tricks to his niece; he arranges Helen human sleeping conditions before he has any night plans himself. The novel explores the ways that humanity, wealth, comfort, religion, morality, intimacy and identity all exist relative to poverty and his characters’ closeness to it, and are colored by it.


I got all excited in the first few pages when ghosts of the bum’s victims show up; I thought maybe the author was going to do something different, a little unexpected magical realism to liven up a bleak depression story. More books from this author: View all 5 comments.

Francis Phelan is a bum, having left his wife and children over twenty years ago because of some poor choices and bad luck. During the week or so covered in this book, Francis is in constant communication hallucinations?


May 17, Narges Aliyari added it. Where are the muck and the mud and the beauty? Does she see herself realistically?

He hit the rails the first time after killing a scab during a strike, and while he eventually came home after that incident, another tragic turn sent him on the bum for good when Francis dropped his infant son who broke his neck in the fall.