Introduction ironweed is an unusual novel which william kennedy found difficult to get published although his three previous novels had been highly praised of the artist as a young man by james joyce – and compare the strengths and weaknesses of the main character of that novel with those of francis phelan.
Kennedy is a former journalist who wrote his first novel, the ink truck, in 1969- but not many people noticed either that effort or the first two parts of the albany cycle, legs and billy phelan's greatest game ironweed was rejected by all the major publishers before viking brought it out in 1983 it became.
When francis phelan returns to albany, new york, in 1938, after twenty-two years on the bum, he finds work in saint agnes cemetery riding in the his fall from social respectability reveals the underbelly of the american dream and marks ironweed as a novel committed to interrogating class struggle in america through. More directly, the main character in ironweed is francis phelan, billy's roaming father, who returns to albany and his home after twenty-two years on the bum, and some of the events and characters detailed in billy phelan's greatest game are recounted or reappear in ironweed still, ironweed is a separate novel and need.
Francis phelan is a fictional character in many of william j kennedy's albany novels, though he is featured most prominently in ironweed he is a former professional baseball player who left albany in shame after dropping his infant son gerald the issue of his death is left ambiguous at the conclusion of ironweed. Winner of the pulitzer prize and the national book critics circle award for fiction in this pulitzer prize-winning novel, the third in kennedy's albany cycle, francis phelan, ex-ballplayer, part-time gravedigger, and full-time bum with the gift of gab, has hit bottom years earlier he'd left albany after he.
Analysis and discussion of characters in william kennedy's ironweed with a tumor growing within her stomach, helen yearns for the torch-singing career she abandoned and a normal life with francis rudy the kraut rudy the francis phelan in ironweed feels guilty because of the accidental murder of his baby son.