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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.

Pavilion of Former Wives: Fictions by Jonathan Baumbach

Dzanc Ebooks

Pavilion of Former Wives: Fictions by Jonathan Baumbach

Baumbach - Pavilion of Former Wives - Final Cover.jpg
Baumbach - Pavilion of Former Wives - Final Cover.jpg

Pavilion of Former Wives: Fictions by Jonathan Baumbach

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A man and woman carry out an unusual courtship through a series of letters that gradually strip away their facades. A husband and wife argue about an infidelity that may never have happened. A liaison that hinges on a lost car ends before it begins when dreams influence reality. And a man confronts the specters of his failed relationships in the mysterious Pavilion of Former Wives. In fourteen thematically linked stories, Jonathan Baumbach explores the sour and bitter sweetness of relationships just beginning and already over, and the frailty that love makes of us.


“Jonathan Baumbach is one of the great, soulful toilers in the field of American literary writing. I have been moved by his work, by his good humor, and by his generosity in the world of letters, for three decades now, and I could not have arrived at my own model of how to get along had I not had his model before me.” —Rick Moody, author of The Ice Storm
“If Jonathan Baumbach were dead and gone—or still around, but fallen silent—he’d be a prime subject for a revival, and we’d have another Don Carpenter or Renata Adler or John Williams situation on our hands. Instead he has made things more interesting by sticking around, persisting in creating something new—so, the revival party will have to wait. We’re lucky to have a sensibility as keen and vibrant, full of insight and wild emotional force, still raging on our behalf.” —Jonathan Lethem, author of MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN
“Jonathan Baumbach is the master of sardonic compassion. He has always taken an odd, idiosyncratic angle to the dominant culture, has gone his own way regardless of the attention or inattention paid him. I think of him as a half-American, half-European writer with a strongly conceptual, formal imagination and a good deal of worldly wisdom, not to mention wry humor. I look forward to every new book by him.” —Phillip Lopate, author of Being With Children



Co-founder of the Fiction Collective in 1973 (reinvented as FC2 in 1988), Jonathan Baumbach is the author of fourteen books of fiction and over ninety published stories. His work has appeared in Esquire, American Review, Tri Quarterly, Partisan Review, and Iowa Review, and has been anthologized in Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Prize, and The Best of Tri-Quarterly.