William Kennedy

reads from

Changó's Beads and Two-Tone Shoes


November 11, 2011
8:00 PM ET


Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138


This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store is glad to welcome Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist WILLIAM KENNEDY for a reading from his most recent novel, Chango's Beads and Two-Tone Shoes.

When journalist Daniel Quinn meets Ernest Hemingway at the Floridita bar in Havana, Cuba, in 1957, he has no idea that his own affinity for simple, declarative sentences will change his life radically overnight.

So begins William Kennedy's latest novel—a tale of revolutionary intrigue, heroic journalism, crooked politicians, drug-running gangsters, Albany race riots, and the improbable rise of Fidel Castro. Quinn's epic journey carries him through the nightclubs and jungles of Cuba and into the newsrooms and racially charged streets of Albany on the day Robert Kennedy is fatally shot in 1968. The odyssey brings Quinn, and his exotic but unpredictable Cuban wife, Renata, a debutante revolutionary, face-to-face with the darkest facets of human nature and illuminates the power of love in the presence of death.

"Here we have the eighth installment of William Kennedy’s popular and much-honored 'Albany Cycle' of novels set in New York’s flamboyantly corrupt state capital. The cycle began in 1975 with Legs, based on the life of the mobster 'Legs' Diamond. Its high point came in 1983 with the publication of Ironweed, for which Kennedy was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, but Kennedy has maintained a high level of achievement throughout, deftly blending comedy and drama as, over the years, he has painted a portrait of a single city perhaps unique in American fiction. Changó’s Beads and Two-Tone Shoes, like all its predecessors, is vivid and charming"  —The Washington Post

William Kennedy
William Kennedy

William Kennedy

William Kennedy, author, screenwriter and playwright, was born and raised in Albany, New York. His Albany cycle includes LegsBilly Phelan's Greatest Game, and the Pulitzer Prize–winning Ironweed. He is known for works including Roscoe and Very Old Bones. Kennedy is a professor in the English department at the State University of New York at Albany. He is the founding director of the New York State Writers Institute and, in 1993, was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has received numerous literary awards, including the Literary Lions Award from the New York Public Library, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and a Governor’s Arts Award. 

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

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