Is Genealogy Destiny?

In 1918, as Chicago copes with an influenza pandemic, a World War and the Cubs loss in the World Series, ten-year-old Jimmy Cullerton’s ma surprisingly sends him with his older brother to the South Side to collect support money from their estranged father. Slighted by his dad, Jimmy vows never to be like him and learns from his brother the need to bury the past. But he also discovers family he never knew existed.
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A century later, Jimmy’s retired son Kevin – a retired music teacher living in Door County, Wisconsin – embarks on a quest to understand his father’s secret life. He discovers his rogue grandfather and an entire Chicago Irish family about whom he has never heard a word spoken. Along the way, a secret from Kevin’s own past draws him into a relationship with a woman he hasn’t seen since she was an infant and forces him to reexamine and relive his relationship with his childhood closest friend Thomas and Thomas’ sister Pat.  As memories and shadows from his personal and family past grow and merge, Kevin must reconcile their meaning to learn and decide who he was, and what he wants to be.  

In the 2017 HAL PRIZE, the July, 1959 chapter (as a short story under another name) was awarded 2nd Place. Fiction Judge David Haynes wrote:  “... So much is packed into a small space, with each gesture and image offering something important and useful to the fiction. A small beautiful gem.”  

With one hundred and fifty years of Chicago history as the background, How Long A Shadow entwines the stories of three generation of Cullerton men as each chooses how they will deal with family, marriage, and fatherhood, and each other. Moving from the Spanish Influenza pandemic of 1918, through the Covid 19 coronavirus pandemic of 2020, the shadow of “that man,” Edward Patrick Cullerton seems to always be just ahead of Jimmy and then his son Kevin.  

About the Author
Dan Powers was raised and lived in Chicago for thirty-six years before moving to Door County, Wisconsin. He is a retired K-12 educator. He lives in Sturgeon Bay, wit his wife Joan, where he writes, volunteers, explores family genealogy, plays golf and follows the Cubs.


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ISBN-13:     9781977228895
Publisher:     Outskirts Press, Inc.
Publication date:     08/29/2020
Pages:     358
Product dimensions:     6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)