William Kennedy Long Fiction Analysis - Essay

William Kennedy Long Fiction Analysis

(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

William Kennedy’s fiction is preoccupied with spirit of place, language, and style, and a mystic fusing of characters and dialogue. The place is Albany, New York, the state’s capital city—nest of corrupt politics; heritor of Dutch, English, and Irish immigrants; home to canallers, crooks, bums and bag ladies, aristocrats and politicians. Albany, like Boston, attracted a large number of Irish Catholic immigrants, who brought their churches, schools, family ties, political machines, and underworld connections.

Kennedy’s style has been compared to that of sixteenth century French novelist François Rabelais for its opulent catalogs and its ribald scatology. Kennedy is not, however, a derivative writer. As his books...

(The entire section is 3454 words.)