… funny, gloomy, terrifying, and joyful … Kennedy’s stories are
as good as any I’ve been reading in the past ten years or more. His characters
are full, alive, and each story is rich and deep. He writes with wisdom,
and it is perhaps that wisdom which turns some of his
stories of great sorrow into something triumphant.
—Andre Dubus, II, author of In the Bedroom and
We don’t Live Here Any More
More than 30 of Kennedy’s books have been published. The majority are listed here,
in alphabetical order under several categories.
* Books marked with an asterisk comprise The Copenhagen Quartet.
Fiction: Short Stories
Nonfiction: Literary Criticism
In his capacity as Guest Editor, Kennedy has compiled the following anthologies:
Book Details and Purchase Information
Books are listed below in reverse chronological order by Release Date
(i.e., books published most recently appear first).
Book Details may include specifications such as ISBN and name of publisher, a cover photo,
blurbs or a brief synopsis, and local links to excerpts, reviews, and video clips for
selected books. Hyperlinks to commercial sites that stock Kennedy’s books may also
appear for selected books.
Beneath the Neon Egg
5 August 2014
“...an author of rare intelligence and moral vision...”
—Alain de Botton, author of 12 books, including The News: A User’s
Manual, and How to Think More About Sex
“...[Nordic noir] novel of jazz, violence, sex, death, love, and the
underbelly of life, set in the low light of a Copenhagen winter. It is the
story of Patrick Bluett, a forty-three-year-old Irish-American in Denmark,
divorced and navigating his relationship with his college-age children,
searching for life in a new country. It is also the story of his neighbor,
a man in a similar circumstance who becomes his friend—and becomes
a Russian prostitute.
“The novel borrows its four-part structure from John Coltrane’s
majestic jazz symphony A Love Supreme, which Patrick Bluett listens
to as he gazes out the window at the frozen streets of his adopted city,
unaware of events in the apartment across the hall, and unaware of the
consequences his friend will meet— or will, perhaps, escape.
“The final novel of Thomas E. Kennedy’s acclaimed Copenhagen
Quartet— four independent novels about the seasons and souls
of Copenhagen—Beneath the Neon Egg cements Kennedy’s
reputation as a literary revelation.”
—From the Bloomsbury catalog
Kerrigan in Copenhagen: A Love Story
June 2013 in USA
July 2013 in UK
“Kerrigan is writing a guide book to his adopted city of Copenhagen. Specifically,
a guide to the city’s drinking establishments—of which there are more
than 1,500. Thus, it is a project potentially without end, and one with a certain
amount of numbness built into it, through countless drinks imbibed. And that is
part of the point: for Kerrigan, an American expat fleeing a brutal family tragedy,
has plenty he wants to numb. The only problem with his project is his research associate,
a voluptuous, green-eyed gal who makes him tremble with forgotten desire. Kerrigan
in Copenhagen is a love story. It is also a deeply human, Joycean romp through
a magical city—its people, history, literature, and culture—giving Copenhagen
its literary due and establishing Kennedy as a tremendously gifted novelist.”
The Book Depository
“...There is so much to like about these beautiful stories, that Mr. Kennedy tells
so well, about loneliness, old age, friendship, love, sometimes hope—we only need a
whiff of it to survive—in short, about our humanity.”
—From “The Magic of Thomas E. Kennedy,”
a five-star review by H. F. Corbin at Amazon.com
“Falling Sideways is the finest novel I have read in many years.
Thomas Kennedy is a true discovery, an author of rare intelligence and moral vision.
Not least, the book is immensely compelling and beautifully written.”
—Alain de Botton, author of How Reading Proust Can Change Your Life
and many other bestsellers
And from the Bloomsbury catalogue:
“By the author of the acclaimed In the Company of Angels, a rollicking,
cross-generational satire of work, love, and family, grounded in the rubble of a
“There seems to be no shortage of business at the Tank, a high-profile firm
in Copenhagen. There are meetings to attend, memos to write, colleagues to undermine.
But when the Tank’s nefarious CEO announces a round of downsizing, everyone
becomes exponentially more concerned about
whatever it is they’re doing.
Not since Joshua Ferris’s Then We Came to the End has there been
such a savvy satire of contemporary work culture, and the distorting effects it
can have on our lives.
“Following these imperiled company men and women out into the autumn days
and nights of Copenhagen, Thomas E. Kennedy traces the ripple effects of the news
at the Tank as it impacts spouses, children, and lovers. Top executive Frederick
Breathwaite is frantically trying to ensure a stable future for his son, while the
boy’s greatest fear is that his future might resemble his father’s absurd
present. Harald Jaeger is estranged from his wife and daughters but pursuing desperate
passions for other women (including the Tank’s married CFO). And while he’s
lost in amorous fantasies, he has managed to catch the CEO’s eye—as
a possible replacement for Breathwaite.
“Sharp, funny, but remarkably tender, Falling Sideways is the second
book in Kennedy’s virtuoso Copenhagen Quartet, and a book that will
continue to build his reputation as one of America’s most versatile literary
“Inspired by centuries of red hair lore, but especially the
languorous photo on the front cover, nineteen authors created stories,
poems, and an essay to reveal the special powers of the world’s
redheads, the forces of their hold over the other 98 percent of
—Serving House Books
“Essay writing at its finest...”
—Judges of the National Magazine Award in selecting “I Am Joe’s
Prostate” as best essay of 2008
Subtitled A Novel in Essays, [this book] plays with the borders between
fiction and essay, story and memoir, narrative and so-called creative nonfiction
to arrive at a “novel” about the life of a man and the women he has
known: From the first innocence of early teenage romance through an interim
period as a cad, an ill-fated marriage or two, to the adventures of an old dude
who refuses to go toes up just yet and continues to be “a slave to the nudity
of women.” Taking equal inspirations from poetry and women, Kennedy fashions
of experience a narrative myth of “all the girls you have ever admired, liked,
loved, kissed, longed for and lost but still have now because love is never really
—From the press release by New American Press
“Imprisoned for teaching political poetry to his students, Bernardo Greene
has been tortured for months by Pinochet’s henchmen when he is visited by
two angels, who promise that he will survive to experience beauty and love once
again. Months later, at the Torture Rehabilitation Center in Copenhagen, the Chilean
exile befriends Michela Ibsen, herself a survivor of domestic abuse. In the long
nights of summer, the two of them struggle to heal, to forgive those who have left
them damaged, and to trust themselves to love.
“Dense with wisdom and humanity, possessed of a timeless, fable-like quality,
In the Company of Angels is the powerful story of two damaged souls trying
to find their way from darkness toward light — a riveting testament to the
resilience and complexity of the human heart.
“This marks the first large-scale US publication of a major American author
whose novels, though internationally renowned, have been treasured literary secrets
in his own country until now.”
—From the Bloomsbury catalog
This collection comprises a quintet of essays by Kennedy that were originally published
in New Letters magazine of the University of Missouri, Kansas City. Three
of the essays also received honorable mention in the Pushcart Prize, and
one was republished in the anthology, New American Essays.
- “Riding the Dog,” about a ride through the South on a Greyhound bus
- “In the Dark,” an account of being in New York City during the 2003
- “The Bridge Back to Queens,” a description of a visit back to Kennedy’s
hometown in Queens
- “Land Where My Fathers Wrote,” an essay about writers and bars in New
- “Life in Another Language,”
excerpted elsewhere at this website
Riding the Dog opens with a Foreword by the Editor of New Letters,
Robert Stewart, who discusses the craft of the essays and their literary value.
The book also includes an Introduction by the author, discussing the pleasures for
a fiction writer of taking up creative nonfiction.
This book is also available in specialized audio format for eligible patrons
National Library Service of the Library of Congress. This work, narrated
by Joyce Townsend, has been recorded in the studios of the New Mexico Library for
the Blind and Physically Handicapped, an affiliate of the National Library Service.
What do writers do to eat and live while they write? This collection of
essays offers 20 sample solutions.
This collection includes a story which won first prize in the Gulf Coast
competition, and several stories that received other awards, including honorable
mention in the Pushcart Prize and Best American Short Stories.
A novel about love and unfaithfulness in its various forms, in which a man’s
long-forgotten past circles back to stalk him.
Twenty-four essays which guide the reader through less-traveled paths of the world,
following in the footsteps of greater writers before them, from Dublin to Ljubjana,
Paris to Prague, Helsinki to Zurich, to the Greek islands and beyond.
The Copenhagen Quartet
A ten-year project by Kennedy, consisting of four independent novels about the
seasons and souls of the Danish capital, each written in a different style, all
published by Wynkin de Worde Publishers in Ireland from 2002 through 2005—
and released in new editions to a worldwide audience by Bloomsbury USA and UK
beginning in 2010.
The novels can be read separately or together, in any particular order.
Two of these novels earned Eric Hoffer Book Awards for 2007:
- Greene’s Summer:
Micro Press Winner
(new edition, In the Company of Angels, published by Bloomsbury in 2010)
- Danish Fall: First Runner-up,
(new edition, Falling Sideways, published by Bloomsbury in 2011)
The four-volume series was also the subject of a DVD
documentary film produced by Harper College in 2004 and screened in various universities and
art houses in the U.S.
Please be sure to visit
The Copenhagen Quartet website for more information.
One of ePublisher’s Weekly’s best fifteen nonfiction books of
2002. The author speaks from his heart about the art and the craft and the spirit
of learning to become a fiction writer, and getting the stuff published.
The Secret Life of Writers (with Walter Cummins)
Fairleigh Dickinson University
A special anthology issue of The Literary Review (45:4), with essays
by 22 writers about the life behind the writing. Includes essays by Duff Brenna,
Janet McDonald, Greg Herriges, David Applefield, Linda Lappin, Susan Schwartz Senstad,
Poems and Sources
Fairleigh Dickinson University
A special anthology issue of The Literary Review (44:1), with poems by
30 poets, along with essays on how they came to compose the poem in question. Includes
poems by John Updike, Charles Simic, Maxine Kumin, Carolyn Kizer, Eavan Boland,
Robert Stewart, and others.
Stories and Sources
Fairleigh Dickinson University
A special anthology issue of The Literary Review (42:1), with stories
by 13 writers, followed by essays on how they came to write the story that appears
in the anthology. Includes stories and essays by Andre Dubus II, Robert Coover,
W.D. Wetherell, Susan Dodd, Gladys Swan, Duff Brenna, and others.
Eight stories, including an O. Henry Award winner, and several cited for honorable
mention in the Pushcart Prize annual.
Small Gifts of Knowing: New Irish Poetry and Prose
Fairleigh Dickinson University
A special anthology issue of The Literary Review (40:4), with poems and
prose by more than 50 contemporary Irish writers, including an interview of J.P.
Donleavy by Kennedy, as well as original work by Dermot Bolger, Philip Davison,
Tony Curtis, Eamon Grennan, Robert Greacen, Angela Greene, Paula Meehan, Theo Dorgan,
and many others. Issue includes a portfolio of black and white Irish portraits by
Tale of a magician who seeks to harness the force of an unsuspecting poet’s
imagination in order to perform an act of necromancy — on the poet’s
A Weather of the Eye
A short novel setting out “with heart-rending accuracy” the response
of a family whose father is cut down before his time.
Eight surreal stories which appeared in leading North American literary periodicals.
One of these stories received a Pushcart Prize, and several others were nominated
Anthology issue of The Review of Contemporary Fiction (XV:1), with previously
unpublished English translations of work by Suzanne Brøgger, Peter Høeg,
Ib Michael, Kirsten Thorup, and others.
Index to American Short Story Award Collections, 1970-1990
G.K. Hall & Company/Macmillan
Index lists short-story award winners of the Pushcart Prize, American Fiction Series,
AWP Short Fiction Award, Drue Heinz Literature Prize, Iowa School of Letters Award,
Flannery O’Connor Award, and University of Illinois Short Fiction Series.
Robert Coover: A Study of the Short Fiction
A study of the short fiction of this outstanding and hilariously funny metafictionist.
Includes an interview with Coover and selections from other critics.
The American Short Story Today (with Henrik Specht)
United States Information Service/
Danish Association of American Studies
Out of print
A collection of essays and bibliography on the state of the art [as it was] until
the date of publication.
This novel tells the tale of Jack Sugrue, husband and father of two, who loves his
family but hates his life, and of what he does to escape.
The first and only book-length study to date of the short fiction of the legendary
author, Andre Dubus II. Currently, this book is in the process of being updated
and expanded to include a study of Dubus’s essay collections and his one published
novel as well. The book includes a lengthy, instructive interview with this modern