From Publishers Weekly
Wycoff works over an idée fixe in her debut collection, 10 stories about a young woman's difficult transition to adulthood after an abusive childhood. Most of the stories catch fragile protagonist Beth at a precarious moment in her unlucky life: from the fatherless childhood spent in Jersey City tenements and ramshackle motels ("Where We're Going This Time") to graduating from high school and fleeing at 17 to Chicago. She returns five years later, in "The Wrong Place in the World," upon receiving (bogus, she later learns) news of her mother's terminal illness. Beth is poised in each story for monstrous disappointment orchestrated by her manipulative and mentally ill mother, Angela, who blames Beth for ruining her life. "September 1981" chronicles Angela's downward trajectory, and the eerily parallel "Afterbirth" delineates Beth's own struggle with single motherhood after having gotten pregnant while prostituting herself at a Days Inn. Other stories develop Beth's failed lesbian relationships, and the title story exposes Beth's damage: a gang rape as a teenager at the hands of her mother's stoned boyfriends. Over and over these degradations and disappointments are sounded like elements in therapy, and the result is a straightforward look at pain and renewal. (Apr.)
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"In O Street, Corrina Wycoff paints a harrowing portrait of familial pain, mental illness, and the sometimes cruel tenacity of love. Hers is a world undone, through which mothers and daughters falter and fall, yet Wycoff never lets us forget the redemptive power these women hold for each other."
--Aimee Liu, author of Cloud Mountain and Flash House
"A deeply moving, deftly told, and keenly insightful tale of a daughter's love, by turns helpless and heroic, for a mother who has forgotten how to love." --Alex Shakar, author of The Savage Girl