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Dzanc Books is nonprofit press specializing in literary fiction and nonfiction. In addition to publishing activities, Dzanc Books also supports the Disquiet International Literary Program.

My Only Wife, by Jac Jemc

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My Only Wife, by Jac Jemc


My Only Wife, by Jac Jemc


Publication Date: May 8, 2012
Paperback: 194 pages
ISBN: 978-1-936873-68-5
Trim: 8.4 x 5.5


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Ten years ago the narrator unlocked the door of a wrecked apartment, empty of any trace of his wife. As stunning as her disappearance is his response. He freezes on the facts of her, haunting his recollections. This is the story of a man unable to free himself enough from the idea of a woman to try to find her.



"I adored this book. I adored the slippery, enigmatic wife of the title and I adored her adoring husband and I adored every lovely, heartbreaking sentence in this deftly written, beautiful book." —Elizabeth Crane, author of We Only Know So Much

"Jemc's subtle touch is evident in the focus and attention of My Only Wife. The reader's heart stirs and stops on her whim. This is a lovely, finely tuned book." —Amelia Gray, author of Threats

"Jac Jemc's My Only Wife operates with the calm, pristine clarity of an enormous marble room. In moving, methodically arranged sentences, one comes across the surpassing surfaces and relics of a kind of intimacy that seems an increasingly difficult proposition to rightly preserve. At last, here is a novel concerned with timeless dedication, love, and respect, which phrased through Jac Jemc's steady warming eye needs no punchline or coincidence or cataclysm to give true glow to the glow itself." —Blake Butler, author of There is No Year


"My Only Wife is a sneaky book. It guiles the reader with clean prose and apparent simplicity into believing that it’s a novel about the narrator’s only wife. It may be about many things – about absence, emptiness, and loss – but it really isn’t about the narrator’s only wife. It’s more like an empty glass from the cupboard, an abstraction, a form, and it invites us to fill it with particulars from our own experience." —David Allan Barker,

"Jac Jemc has written a novel so wonderful that if it were a dish served at a social event, I would ask the hostess for the recipe." –

“Jac Lemc's novel My Only Wife is a brilliant, haunting, and heartbreaking debut that explores themes of loss and love.” –Large Hearted Boy

“The author sculpts her characters to reveal their bare form, which just happens to include their innermost flaws. She impressively closes the gap between objects and affects, emotion and experience, exactly what any attempt at accurately portraying our world requires.” –Smalldoggies Magazine

“A book whose sentences have become textures in my memory that I will keep with me.” –Jess Stoner

“Jemc has done something quite extraordinary with her first novel. She has created a world that is at once familiar and at once strange. Just as the husband can never quite get close enough to his wife, the reader can never quite grasp where Jemc is taking her characters on their journey.” --Used Furniture Review

“In My Only Wife, Jac Jemc takes the noir and beauty and eternity of what we think is love and creates an entirely new narrative.” –-The Nervous Breakdown

“I don’t necessarily like the people in this book, but I understand these people and I love this book. And absolute pleasure to read, and I will cherish it on my bookshelf. I don’t often reread novels, but this is definitely one I’ll return to again and again.” –Samuel Snoek-Brown

“Jac Jemc paints a devastating picture of what happens to the one who gets left behind in her debut novel My Only Wife.” –-The Next Best Book Blog

End of the year Top Ten list at Volume I Brooklyn.