Jacob Fishman’s Marriages by Barry Friedman
One couple. Two stories. One truth. Sort of.
Jacob Fishman is miserable. His wife, Cindi, is miserable.
His editor wants him to write another book.
Suffocating in his own self-consciousness, Jacob decides to explore the frailties, fears, and deficiencies of his life with Cindi including, most tellingly, her desire to have a baby-and his desire not to. He creates Fishman doppelgängers, literary avatars, to see if their lives can be better than his. He wills himself to the intersection of truth, verisimilitude, and fantasy and finds himself paralyzed once there, no longer sure which events unfold in real life and which exist only in his book. Cindi, watching her life being laid bare, sees her husband as a megalomaniacal provocateur and chafes at his cherry-picking of their marriage and identities.
Set in and around the University of Nevada, Reno, Jacob Fishman’s Marriages is the story of an author’s conceit and what the creation of art excuses. It is the story of a husband and a wife and a husband and a wife-the same husband and wife. Sort of.
Year first published: 2022