cover of book

The Constellations
by Kevin Cunningham
Northern Illinois University Press, 2012
eISBN: 978-1-60909-068-5 | Paper: 978-0-87580-683-9
Library of Congress Classification PS3603.U666C66 2012
Dewey Decimal Classification 813.6

It’s 1974 in DeKalb County, Illinois and the planets have failed to align for Roy Conlon. Widowed and broke, his eight-year-old son Eric is suddenly a mystery to him. The boy has become aware of a sky awhirl with stars and of the universe outside his small-Midwestern town. And as powerful forces pull Eric away, Roy’s efforts to hold onto his son are threatened by weakness, guilt, and his participation in a foolish crime.


Enter The Constellations, a novel of the diverging paths of a father and his son, and how each copes with the loss of the woman whose love and guidance held them together. Roy and Eric’s parallel journeys take them through a landscape populated by long shot players and kitchen sink philosophers, by ruthless thieves and fierce protectors. A compelling novel of small town America in the shadow of Vietnam and Watergate, Cunningham’s spare prose and deftly drawn heroes complete a portrait of our country reminiscent of Mark Richard and Jim Shepard. Scarred, divided, and damaged, his characters represent all of our false promises and failed dreams.

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