Quinn's Book Summary
William Kennedy

Everything you need to understand or teach Quinn's Book by William Kennedy.

  • Quinn's Book Summary & Study Guide

Quinn's Book Summary

As in Kennedy's other novels, a major theme in Quinn'sBook is regeneration. Just as Albany transcends the destructive ice, flood, and fire that open the novel, so does the United States transcend the effects of the Civil War. That the country is slowly regenerating is evident as Daniel Quinn sits on the veranda of Saratoga Springs' United States Hotel and reads in the Tribune about a Confederate officer who says the battle of Vicksburg "has proven fatal to our cause." The officer's comment foretells the end of the Civil War and the eventual healing of the country's wounds. In fact, the nation's regenerative process is symbolized in the carriage procession that contains an "American motley"— farmers, soldiers, bankers, writers, politicians, lawyers, actors, and widows—all moving at "inch-pace progress" toward the new race course.

As Daniel Quinn and Emmett Daugherty watch the famine Irish boarding freight...

(read more from the Short Guide)