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Seven Wives, Seven Wives, 0932511864, 0-932511-86-4, 978-0-932511-86-7, 9780932511867, , , Seven Wives, 0932511872, 0-932511-87-2, 978-0-932511-87-4, 9780932511874,

Seven Wives
by Jonathan Baumbach

Quality Paper
1994. 181 pp.
978-0-932511-87-4
Price:  $16.95 t

A deliciously satirical postmodern romance

Seven Wives reimagines the search for an enduring passionate love. The too-much-loved narrator, Jack, an extension of the everyman hero of Baumbach’s novel Reruns marries seven women, including a childhood sweetheart, an older woman who turns out to be an unacceptably near relation, the loveliest woman in the world, a woman so fat that sex with her becomes impossibly difficult, and a woman who confuses violence and love. Jack’s quest for the perfect marriage is, of course, doomed to failure and ultimately leads him to the edge of madness, but it also produces seven bizarrely interesting near-misses along the way.

From his home in New York City, Jack tells his story after the fact, as a way of reclaiming himself. He obsesses not only about his search for the right woman but also about his quixotic pursuit of a version (or versions) of the American dream. Jack moves from cabdriver, to actor, to scriptwriter for pornographic movies, to entrepreneur, to Hollywood producer. Seven Wives treats marriage and career as inseparable pursuits on the same road to success. The two abiding issues of all of Baumbach’s fiction - the erratic workings of the imagination and the even more erratic workings of the human heart—appear in their purest form in his latest novel.
 
Jonathan Baumbach is the author of numerous books of fiction, including Babble, Chez Charlotte & Emily, Seperate Hours, The Life And Times Of Major Fiction, D-Tours, and B. Also a widely published and anthologized short story writer, he has appeared in O. Henry Prize Stores and Best American Short Stories. He has written about movies for Partisan Review and is a former chairman of the National Society of Film Critics.
"...a sexual duel played out with an uncanny foreknowledge. Beware-this novel will arouse your prurient interests."
—Walter Abish

"...the domestic novel to its outer limits. This is a very witty and sad evocation of the madness of attraction."
—Hilma Wolitzer