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Jonathan Corcoran Celebrates Memoir No Son Of Mine

By on Friday, April 5th, 2024 at 3:43 pm

Jonathan Corcoran presents No Son of Mine with Alice Elliott Dark at P&T Knitwear

Jonathan Corcoran was at P&T Knitwear on Wednesday to celebrate the launch of his memoir No Son Of Mine with a full house. He was joined by his former professor and friend Alice Elliott Dark.

Eight years ago, Jonathan launched his debut story collection, The Rope Swing at Greenlight Bookstore. That collection followed numerous characters through a fictional West Virginia town, similar to the one Jonathan grew up in.

In No Son Of Mine, Jonathan tells us about his life in Elkins, West Virginia and examines his relationship with his mother, who passed away in 2020. The book has been compared favorably to, and as a rebuke of, J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy, although Jonathan confirms he has no plans at the moment to run for Senate. Part of a growing list of Appalachian authors, Jonathan reveals a different set of truths about the south.

His narrative tells a different story. The memoir follows Jonathan from his life in West Virginia to his departure in college in Providence, Rhode Island, through to the global pandemic when he is living with his husband in Brooklyn.

When he leaves for college, he finally works up to coming out to his mother, leading her to disowns him. The strained relationship with his mother is juxtaposed against the loving relationship with his husband, Sam. The parallel highlights the differences between chosen families and blood relations, but also highlighting the importance of love in providing stability.

The narrative of the memoir is also linked to his mother’s death. Jonathan first started writing the book before she passed away in 2020 (unrelated to COVID). Her death allowed him to confront many of the feelings he had — and to process his grief.

The book is also partly set against the backdrop of the 2020 pandemic where he and his husband both end up contracting COVID early on. Living in Brooklyn, they were surrounded by the sound of ambulances rushing people to the hospital all themselves close to death.

The book is also an examination of who his mother was, and as he told to the crowd at P&T Knitwear, an attempt to give her a voice. She was a woman who had endured a lot, but rarely had the opportunity to express her own views.

I also spoke with Jonathan earlier this month for an interview that ran in the Chicago Review of Books today. We ended up discussing process, queer relationships, and bad men.

On the night of the event at P&T Knitwear, the store sold out of the book. After signing every copy in the store, the party relocated to a nearby bar.

Jonathan Corcoran with Alice Elliott Dark
P&T Knitwear
Wednesday April 3rd, 2024



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