No Son of Mine
Published by: The University Press of Kentucky
Imprint: The University Press of Kentucky
Sales Date: 04/01/2024
Born and raised in rural West Virginia, Jonathan Corcoran was the youngest and only son of three siblings in a family balanced on the precipice of poverty. His mother, a traditional, evangelical, and insular woman who had survived abuse and abandonment, was often his only ally. Together they navigated a strained homelife dominated by his distant, gambling-addicted father and shared a seemingly unbreakable bond.
When Corcoran left home to attend Brown University, a chasm between his upbringing and his reality began to open. As his horizons and experiences expanded, he formed new bonds beyond bloodlines, and met the upper-middle-class Jewish man who would become his husband. But this authentic life would not be easy, and Corcoran was forever changed when his mother disowned him after discovering his truth. In the ensuing fifteen years, the two would come together only to violently spring apart. As the COVID-19 pandemic raged in 2020, the cycle finally ended when he received the news that his mother had died.
In No Son of Mine, Corcoran traces his messy estrangement from his mother through lost geographies: the trees, mountains, and streams that were once his birthright, as well as the lost relationships with friends and family and the sense of home that were stripped away when she said he was no longer her son. A biography nestled inside a memoir, No Son of Mine is Corcoran's story of alienation and his attempts to understand his mother's choice to cut him out of her life. Through grief, anger, questioning, and growth, Corcoran explores the entwined yet separate histories and identities of his mother and himself.
Appalachian Futures: series description
Set in West Virginia and New York City, No Son of Mine is a gorgeous, extraordinary memoir about the heartbreaking relationship between a queer son and the mother who disowned him, and about two young men falling in love and figuring out how to build their lives together. In poetic and stunning prose, Jonathan Corcoran writes perceptively, fiercely, and tenderly about what it means to be both estranged from and bound to a place and family, to feel both loved and rejected, and to grieve and to forgive. It's also one of the best memoirs I've read that shines a light on rural queerness, masculinity, and the complexities of economic class. I absolutely loved this book and I want everyone to read it.~Carter Sickels, author of The Prettiest Star
We know that gay men are threatened with death in a dozen nations, but Jon Corcoran's No Son of Mine unforgettably reminds us that some gay American's lives are threatened today, in our own country, by their own families. Jon Corcoran's memoir of a beloved son's twenty year cycle of rejection and grief is also the story of the conflicted mother who adored him, her youngest child and only son, but could not accept him. Every American should read this elegy about the politics of place and church, the loss of one home, and the triumphant forging of another.~Jayne Anne Phillips, author of Night Watch
What if I told you this book will tear your heart out and then turn around and make you want it to happen all over again? There is an ecstatic vulnerability here woven in a language incandescent in its reach.~Mesha Maren, author of Perpetual West and Sugar Run