About Jonathan Corcoran

Jonathan Corcoran is the author of the story collection, The Rope Swing, published in April 2016 by Vandalia Press, the creative imprint of West Virginia University Press. His work has been named a finalist for the Flannery O'Connor Award in Short Fiction and a semi-finalist for the St. Lawrence Book Award and is forthcoming in the anthology, Eyes Glowing at the Edge of the Woods: Fiction and Poetry from West Virginia. He received a BA in Literary Arts from Brown University and an MFA in Fiction Writing from Rutgers University-Newark. Jonathan began his writing career as a news reporter and now teaches writing at Rutgers. He was born and raised in a small town in West Virginia and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. The Rope Swing is his debut. Learn more at jonathancorcoranwrites.com.

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My Appalachia: Coming Home in a Changing America

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Monday, December 5th, 2016 | 6,094 views

It’s April and I’m on the road jumping across the country promoting my debut book, a story collection about the residents of an economically-challenged small town in West Virginia. A large number of the stories in the book focus on the sometimes hidden and sometimes exposed lives of the gay men who live in the little town. It was an interesting concept for me—to juxtapose the lives of those stuck economically against the lives of those stunted emotionally. I modeled the setting on my hometown, a once prosperous place built with the big money of coal, timber, and railroad barons who built mansions that towered over the boomtown downtown. In the book, everyone’s clamoring—to stay, to leave, for a reprieve. In the book, and in real life, there’s this beautiful past to which everyone clings. It’s the past where the downtown streets were filled with the friendly faces of people with things to buy, where the future seemed bright and open.

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