Date of Award
Film, Theatre & Communication Arts
Film, Theatre, and Communication Arts
Cheat River is a novel about balancing family obligations against self-preservation. That is what's at stake for Allison and Andrew McKenna, a pair of siblings in rural Appalachia who must endure their father's abandonment and their pregnant mother's breakdown. At first, the two find solace from their parents' problems on the banks of the river from which the novel takes its name. But eventually, Andrew's homosexual feelings drive him to the bohemian streets of Philadelphia in the early '90s where he falls in with political activists and a household of misfits. He disappears, and Allison comes to the city to look for him. By retracing her brother's life, she realizes not only what he meant to her but what it will take to survive on her own.
McQuain, Kelly, "Cheat River" (2007). University of New Orleans Theses and Dissertations. 1065.