Jac Jemc | Women & Children First | Literary Events | Chicago Reader
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Jac Jemc 

When: Fri., Nov. 7 2014
Unless you're a connoisseur of small literary magazines, you won't just stumble across any stories by Jac Jemc, a Chicagoan who's also the author of the 2013 novel My Only Wife. And that's a damned shame. Jemc's stories bear very little resemblance to the early-20th-century classics you may remember studying in junior high in preparation for the greater challenges of the novel, with their tidy situation-conflict-climax/epiphany-denouement structure and neatly isolated literary elements. (Can you identify the paradox at the end of O. Henry's "Gift of the Magi"?) They're not much like the embryonic novels that appear in the New Yorker, either. In fact, there's very little conventional narrative at all in Jemc's new collection A Different Bed Every Time. Her fiction is highly experimental. It relies less on plot to tell a story than on mood, metaphor, and language. The 42 stories here are short: most don't last more than two or three pages. They feel as surreal as dreams—though when you're immersed in them, they make perfect sense, as dreams tend to do. It's telling other people about them afterward and trying to explain what they mean that's the hard part. Continue reading >>



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