RIDING THE YELLOW TROLLEY CAR (1993)
Riding the Yellow Trolley Car is a collection of essays, interviews (with Gabriel Garcia Marquez, William Styron, Robert Penn Warren, Louis Armstrong et al.), memoirs, reviews, reportage, liner notes for a Sinatra album, and memoirs on the making of two films, “The Cotton Club,” and “Ironweed.” Library Journal said of it: “a great pleasure to read, no matter what the subject. Another winner from Kennedy: highly recommended.” And Publishers Weekly wrote, “This engaging miscellany of some 80 articles, interviews, and reviews should delight fans of noted novelist Kennedy. From newspaper pieces printed in his hometown of Albany, N.Y., in the 1950s to more polished essays in national magazines, these selections suggest how Kennedy’s literary voraciousness contributed to the growth of his distinctive, sinuous style.”
“The collection displays Kennedy's love affair with literature and subject matter high and low."
— Robert Friedman
In the Dallas Morning News, Norman Oder wrote, “Mr. Kennedy began as a journalist in Albany, and early examples of his craft show him straining toward originality. Indeed, this book suggests how a myriad of influences—journalism, literature, Albany and Latin America—helped fuse his literary imagination … The writer who emerges here sounds not merely interesting but delightfully genuine.”
Author Robert Friedman reviewed Riding the Yellow Trolley Car, describing the book as a “rich cornucopia of novelist William Kennedy’s nonfiction, and a joyride most of the way … The collection displays Kennedy’s love affair with literature and with subject matter high and low. It is a look into the wellspring of his literary life, tracing tastes and a stately style that evolved fully in Kennedy’s Albany novels.”