“Misha Lazzara is an extremely talented writer with a compelling story to tell. Her dialogue is pitch-perfect and her setting so vivid, you feel you are there.” —Jill McCorkle, New York Times bestselling author
A modern-day love story that explores childhood trauma, the boundaries between idealism and self-righteousness, and the heartaches we must confront in order to chart our courses forward.
Lo Gunderson feels trapped in her small midwestern hometown until she sees an ad for a free car in the local paper. To maintain her staunch anticapitalist values, she refuses to spend money on what she can find for free, so this car is the perfect ticket out of the town. Though it doesn’t cost any money, it still comes with a price. Blanche Peterson is dying and asks for a single favor—that Lo track down her estranged son, whom Blanche hasn’t seen in over a decade.
Before she can decide whether to fulfill Blanche’s dying wish, she needs to get the car started. She’s helped by John Blank, a Southern auto mechanic who moved up north for a fresh start. Despite vastly different backgrounds, they share an electrifying mutual attraction that threatens to upend Lo’s carefully constructed worldview.
Meanwhile, Blanche’s son, Jason, finds himself adrift after an argument with his girlfriend. Memories of his negligent mother and the death of his father resurface for the first time in years as he travels across the country searching for what comes next.
Manmade Constellations is a smart, magnetic, and emotional novel dedicated to the American landscape, exploring how taking to the open road teaches lessons that can’t be learned at home.
“[A] notable debut…Readers will enjoy this new voice.” —Publishers Weekly
“With this dazzling debut novel, Misha Lazzara takes her place among the most important young fiction writers in America. Hers is a talent to watch, applaud, and—quite frankly—envy.” —Aaron Gwyn, author of All God’s Children
“Part love story, part mystery, Manmade Constellations explores the search for home on an imperfect planet. Misha Lazzara writes with empathy, grace, and a poet’s eye for detail, and her characters will live in your mind long after you’ve finished this page-turning novel.” —Belle Boggs, author of The Gulf
“Misha Lazzara’s Manmade Constellations recharges the American road trip novel with a lyric touch. Part detective story—a search for a stranger’s lost son—part voyage of self-reflection—from a hometown and family the heroine hopes to leave behind—and all-around love story, the reader will gladly stay put in the passenger seat. Lazzara’s deftly drawn characters, their impulsive decisions, rendered in a narrative as page-turning as it is poetic, transports the reader to the greatest scenery of all: the landscape of the heart.” —Wilton Barnhardt, bestselling author of Lookaway, Lookaway
Misha Vaagen Lazzara was born and raised in Minnesota. She holds an MA in English from UNC Charlotte and an MFA in creative writing from North Carolina State University. She currently lives in North Carolina with her husband and three children.
Tavia Gilbert is an acclaimed narrator of more than four hundred full-cast and multivoice audiobooks for virtually every publisher in the industry. Named the 2018 Voice of Choice by Booklist magazine, she is also winner of the prestigious Audie Award for best narration. She has earned numerous Earphones Awards, a Voice Arts Award, and a Listen-Up Award. Audible.com has named her a Genre-Defining Narrator: Master of Memoir. In addition to voice acting, she is an accomplished producer, singer, and theater actor. She is also a producer, singer, photographer, and a writer, as well as the cofounder of a feminist publishing company, Animal Mineral.