on bended knee


The facade of the Kentucky State Maximum Security Prison in Eddyville is almost as chilling as those who’ve been kept within its walls, says the late Southern author, John Egerton. Referred to as the ‘Castle On The Cumberland,’ over the years the imposing structure has served as both a beginning and an end for some the state’s most notorious criminals. Cunningham takes you behind locked doors, giving readers an inside account of the murders, riots, hangings, escapes and stories that have made the prison a place of mystery and intrigue for over 100 years.


A Distant Light

Bill Cunningham exposes social injustices from Kentucky’s bloody past and shows the journey to redemption through courageous leaders such as Governors A.O. Stanley and Ned Breathitt. Starring into the face of racism, their inspiring stance against popular public opinion was dramatic, and sometimes deadly. Hailed as a crucially-relevant account of Kentucky history, A Distant Light illustrates how lynching and murders gave way to a brighter future through the efforts of those who were willing to stand for justice.

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On Bended Knees

Now in discussions to become a major motion picture, Cunningham’s best-seller gives a gripping account of the Kentucky and Tennessee tobacco wars and the farmers’ revolt against the impoverishing tobacco prices of the ‘Duke Trust.’ Recounting the epic events that changed the lives of Kentuckians and the tobacco industry, the title follows Dr. David Amos and his secret organization known as the Night Riders as they wage war against the tobacco empire.


Children of Promise

“A little bit of the Cumberland River is in Bill Cunningham’s blood stream, and it flows freely in this enchanting novel of remembrance,” says award-winning author John Egerton. In Cunningham’s first work of fiction, the book tells the story of a Kentucky boy with a future, growing up in a town without a future. It’s a tale only Cunningham could tell, and its rag-tag cast of characters epitomize life in a small river town. Part Huckleberry Finn and part Stand By Me, the journey of Cunningham’s protagonist is chock full of mischief, mystery, laugh-out-loud moments and touching tales of friendship and family.