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Novelist William Kennedy to receive prestigious Irish award

November 20, 2018

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist William Kennedy will receive an award from Ireland’s president for his Albany-based literary works focusing on the Irish-American experience.

The Times Union reports the 90-year-old Albany native will receive the Presidential Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad from Irish President Michael D. Higgins during a ceremony in Dublin on Nov. 29.

Kennedy, founder of the New York State Writers Institute at the University at Albany, will be honored along Irish author Edna O’Brien.

Kennedy’s novels known as the “Albany Cycle” depict generations of Irish-American families and include “Ironweed,” for which he received the 1984 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

Kennedy said in a statement that his novels became “a historical testament” to what he lived through while growing up among fellow Irish-Americans in Albany.

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