Description : The Homeless of "Ironweed" is both a meditation on Kennedy's remarkable novel and a literary and cultural analysis. Benedict Giamo's explorations of the social conditions, cultural meanings, and literary representations of classic and contemporary homelessness in America and abroad inform his understanding of the literary merit and social resonance of Ironweed. Throughout Giamo remains grounded in a close reading of the novel. He moves with great relevance from Dante to Kenneth Burke, from Sartre to Robert Jay Lifton, to locate meaning and value in the lives of Kennedy's characters; by extension, with intelligence and compassion, he regards the lives of the homeless who wander through our streets and shefters today.
Description : The beloved Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, basis of the film starring Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep. Francis Phelan, ex-big-leaguer, part-time gravedigger, full-time bum with the gift of gab, is back in town. He left Albany twenty-two years earlier after he dropped his infant son accidentally, and the boy died. Now he's on the way back to the wife and home he abandoned, haunted at every corner by the ghosts of his violent life. Francis; his wino ladyfriend of nine years, Helen; and his stumblebum pal, Rudy, shuffle their ragtag way through the city's bleakest streets, surviving on gumption, muscatel, and black wit. estiny is not their business. 'The premise of Ironweed was so unpromising, that in marketing terms the writer still to this day finds it funny: the story of a bunch of itinerant alcoholics, knocking around Kennedy's hometown, falling out, having visions, trying to pass for sober to cadge a bed for the night in the homeless shelter.' Guardian 'But for all the rich variety of prose and event, from hallucination to bedrock realism to slapstick and to blessed quotidian peace, ''Ironweed'' is more austere than its predecessors. It is more fierce, but also more forgiving.' Quoted from the classic New York Times review of Ironweed, which made it an overnight sensation.
Description : "The first comprehensive resource on this important topic, this set covers the origins of homelessness, current research, and strategies for its prevention. The contributors represent such disciplines as sociology, anthropology, medicine, and social work. Articles address homelessness in eight major American cities and more than 30 cities and nations around the world. Adding depth are bibliographies, a directory of street newspapers, a filmography, and more than 20 primary-source documents offering historical and contemporary perspectives."--"Reference that rocks," American Libraries, May 2005.
Description : List Pulitzer Prize winners in thirty-nine different categories, arranged chronologically, with biographical and career information, selected works, other awards, and a brief commentary, along with material on Pulitzer.
Description : Occupying Space in American Literature and Culture inscribes itself within the spatial turn that permeates the ways we look at literary and cultural productions. The volume seeks to clarify the connections between race, space, class, and identity as it concentrates on different occupations and disoccupations, enclosures and boundaries. Space is scaled up and down, from the body, the ground zero of spatiality, to the texturology of Manhattan; from the striated place of the office in Melville’s "Bartleby, the Scrivener" on Wall Street, to the striated spaces of internment camps and reservations; from the lowest of the low, the (human) clutter that lined the streets of Albany, NY, during the Depression, to the new Towers of Babel that punctuate the contemporary architecture of transparencies. As it strings together these spatial narratives, the volume reveals how, beyond the boundaries that characterize each space, every location has loose ends that are impossible to contain.
Description : Examines the various ways--both verbal and visual--in which the media have portrayed the homeless over the last 20 years.
Description : In this fascinating study, Vivian Lynch examines the distinguished career of novelist William Kennedy, placing particular emphasis on the Irish and American themes in his work. She thoroughly analyzes each of Kennedy's novels and argues that each holds a meaningful place in a cycle that is based on the construction of creative, imaginative warriors. Her study specifically considers the classical and modern influences on Kennedy's work and addresses the ways in which it is related to the literature of James Joyce. In her effort to produce a definitive study of Kennedy's work, Lynch relies on a variety of sources, including critiques and published interviews as well as personal communication with the author himself.
Description : Entries cover biographical information, a bibliography of writings, and a critical analysis of each author's longer works of fiction, and address long fiction written in various time periods, countries, and genres.
Description : Jack Kerouac, a "ragged priest of the word" according to Ben Giamo, embarked on a spiritual quest "for the ultimate meaning of existence and suffering, and the celebration of joy in the meantime." For Kerouac, the quest was a sustained and creative experiment in literary form. Intuitive and innovative, Kerouac created prose styles that reflected his search for personal meaning and spiritual intensity. These styles varied from an exuberant brand of conventional narrative (On the Road, The Dharma Bums, and Desolation Angels) to spontaneous bop prosody (Visions of Cody.Doctor Sax, and The Subterraneans). Giamo's primary purpose is to chronicle and clarify Kerouac's various spiritual quests through close examinations of the novels. Kerouac began his quest with On the Road, which also is Giamo's real starting point. To establish early themes, spiritual struggles, and stylistic shifts, however, Giamo begins with the first novel, Town and Country, and ends with Big Sur, the final turning point in Kerouac's quest. Kerouac was primarily a religious writer bent on testing and celebrating the profane depths and transcendent heights of experience and reporting both truly. Baptized and buried a Catholic, he was also heavily influenced by Buddhism, especially from 1954 until 1957 when he integrated traditional Eastern belief into several novels. Catholicism remained an essential force in his writing, but his study of Buddhism was serious and not solely in the service of his literary art. As he wrote to Malcolm Cowley in 1954, "Since I saw you I took up the study of Buddhism and for me it's the word and the way I was looking for." Giamo also seeks IT--"a vital force in the experience of living that takes one by surprise, suspending for the moment belief in the 'real' concrete grey everyday of facts of self and selfhood . . . its various meanings, paths, and oscillations: from romantic lyricism to 'the ragged and ecstatic joy of pure being and from the void-pit of the Great World Snake to the joyous pain of amorous love, and, finally, from Catholic/Buddhist serenity to the onset of penitential martyrhood."