William Kennedy was born in 1928 in Albany, New York, where he was raised. He graduated from Siena College in Loudonville, New York, and after stints in the army and as a reporter in Puerto Rico, returned to Albany for good in 1963. The majority of his novels comprise what is referred to as The Albany Cycle, a reimagining of the life of the city that makes use of real incidents in Albany's history as well as supernatural elements. Ironweed, the most celebrated of these novels, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1984, as well as the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Kennedy's first novel, The Ink Truck, was published in 1969, and is the story of a newspaper strike in an unnamed Albany. His second novel, Legs, is the first of the Albany Cycle novels, the second of which, Billy Phelan's Greatest Game, introduces the Phelan family, various generations of which appear in five more novels: Ironweed, Quinn's Book (1988), Very Old Bones (1992), The Flaming Corsage (1996), and Roscoe (1992)...Show More »

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Audible Modern Vanguard Productions of William Kennedy's Work

Billy Phelan's Greatest Game

  • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 39 mins)
  • By William Kennedy
  • Narrated By Nick Sullivan
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Billy Phelan, small-time bookie, pool hustler, and poker player, becomes an unlikely go-between in the 1938 kidnapping of an Albany, New York, political boss's son.

Legs

  • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 18 mins)
  • By William Kennedy
  • Narrated By Joe Barrett
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A fictionalized narrative of the erratic, stylish life and deadly career of notorious 1920s gangster Legs Diamond, told with equivocal disbelief by his attorney, Marcus Gorman.

Ironweed

  • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 43 mins)
  • By William Kennedy
  • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
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This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel became a movie starrng Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep in 1987. Francis Phelan, the protaganist, is an ex-ballplayer, part-time gravedigger, full-time drunk, and a man trying to make peace with the ghosts of his past and present.