Corrina Wycoff | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Arts & Culture » Theater Critic's Choice

Corrina Wycoff

by

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

comment

Nothing much cheery happens in Corrina Wycoff's debut collection, O Street (OV Books). Set mostly in Chicago, the interconnected stories center on one Beth Dinard, who as a teen fled her life of poverty in Jersey City and her distant, critical mother, who appears by turns as a heroin-addicted, trick-turning lowlife and a heroin-addicted reciter of Shakespeare and T.S. Eliot. Beth appears in the book in different phases of her life--as a kid longing for a kitten, as a young woman struggling with various relationships (with women), as a young single mother herself--but always hoping for something better and longing for love. Wycoff favors restraint over melodrama and peppers her stories with nicely observed details: after a drag on a cigarette, one character "felt a bit calmer when the smoke caught behind her sternum, a nice feeling, like the tightening pull of a loose shoelace." That there aren't any happy endings is actually quite satisfying; if there were Wycoff would be betraying her characters, and the stories wouldn't ring as true. a Release party with a silent auction, a reading by Charles Blackstone, and a wine tasting with Alpana Singh, Sun 3/18, 8 PM, Bad Dog Tavern, 4535 N. Lincoln, 773-334-4040, $10 donation requested. With Alex Shakar and Stacey Levine, Mon 3/19, 7 PM, Book Cellar, 4736 N. Lincoln, 773-293-2665. With Elizabeth Crane and Laura Ruby, Thu 3/22, 7:30 PM, Women & Children First, 5233 N. Clark, 773-769-9299.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Diane Grannis.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Give $35/month →  
  Give $10/month →  
  Give  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Add a comment