As faculty offices remain silent after hours stillness breaks with a voice. Professor Corrina Wycoff’s laugh shatters the silence and frees a natural world of imagination.
Wycoff’s writing is a part of her complex life mosaic, but it’s not the totality. She began picking up inspirational pieces for her novels at an early age and passed into single motherhood, drawing from realistic and experiential circumstances. From the naturalist perspective, she creates characters affected by low social status, struggling to pull their weight beyond the lowest rung.
“We’re fairly well circumscribed by birth,” Wycoff says, “and there’s not as much transcendence as described in the American Dream.”
Her newest novel, Damascus House, is set in a conservative New Jersey community. The storyline revolves around the central absent character, a woman who comes out of the closet and flees to Oregon in the wake of the uprising of the fundamentalist church.
Written in the genre of psychological realism from the third-person limited perspective, it follows the tailspin of the community from six viewpoints. The reader experiences characters gaining and losing faith.
“It’s not an indictment against the religious community,” Wycoff says. “It asks how we make sense of faith and circumstance. What does it mean to figure out what to believe when you’ve been told what to believe all of your life?”
Her first novel, originally titled The Wrong Place in the World, follows Elizabeth Dinard’s struggle through adulthood after experiencing a childhood trauma. Reality sets the stage for Wycoff’s characters, and difficult circumstances pave the way for heightened awareness.
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