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Wedlocked: A Memoir

by

Wedlocked: A Memoir Cover

 

Awards

2014 Oregon Book Award for Creative Nonfiction

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Married writer Jay Ponteri finds himself infatuated with a woman other than his wife and writes a manuscript to explore his feelings. Discovery of this manuscript understandably strains his marriage. Wedlocked offers readers an intimate, idiosyncratic view of a human institution that can so often fail, leaving its inhabitants lonely and adrift. The narrator struggles with living deep inside his thoughts and dreams while yearning to be known and loved by either woman in his life. For many marrieds, attraction to people other than their spouses has long been a classic refrain, and even President Jimmy Carter famously admitted to Playboy, “I've looked on a lot of women with lust. I've committed adultery in my heart many times … The guy who's loyal to his wife ought not to be condescending or proud because of the relative degree of sinfulness." Ponteri lays bare his inner life and in doing so provides all of us in monogamous relationships rich material to consider.

Review:

"There are many books being published today that are hailed as “daring” or “brave,” but for me, there is only one book that is daring and brave: this book is Jay Ponteri's Wedlocked. Ponteri does not flinch; he does not cower; he offers rawness and honesty, the storm, and the eye of the storm. His long hard stare at marriage and longing, at the inner life of ideas and dreams alongside the life of platitudes and home repairs, gives us a rare and undaunting meditation on and interrogation into these lives. We want him to stay; we want him to go. We want him to have the dream and destroy it too. Essayistic, narrative, and meditative by turns, Ponteri's is a beautiful and truly courageous voice." Jenny Boully, Author of The Book of Beginnings and Endings

Review:

"The great polish poet Czeslaw Milosz talked about the importance of a writer to engage with his or her shadow. That is, often a writer puts forth a kind of hero sense of the self, a sort of announcement to the world that the person you are sensing beneath the writing is essentially a nice, good, person. Milosz's point was that human beings are more complicated than simply being nice or good and that the shadow part of us holds a rich store of truth, meaning, and in the end understanding. So it is in Jay Ponteri's memoir, Wedlocked, that we find a writer engaged with his shadow, wrestling with it, losing and winning with it. This is a book that moves beyond simple individual honesty to the greater more complex honesty of human nature. It's a beautiful, sticky, bloody, sweaty, feverish book that will be hard for some people to read. Those who do, though, will find that what they have imagined is true: our romantic relationships, or relationships with the lover, with the self, with the other, are as complicated and messy and ecstatic as the human body engaged in them." Matthew Dickman, Author of All-American Poem

Review:

"In our understanding of gender, relationship, and desire — there is always another frontier of ignorance before us. In Wedlocked, Jay Ponteri goes into the country of marriage and masculinity in a way that is freshly honest, insightful, and tragic. Ponteri's fierce scrutiny of the degrees of separation inside union has not been performed before in this contemporary register. Bravely, he shines light on regions of the male psyche that mostly have been left in shadow. Wedlocked is a fascinating book that will interest all men and women who struggle in that sticky, lonely terrain between bonding and bondage." Tony Hoagland, Author of What Narcissism Means to Me, finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award

Review:

"Ponteri's story offers the contemporary reader a fresh way to contemplate our country's abiding love/hate relationship with the institution of marriage. We revere it; we chafe against it. We sin in our hearts, and our guilt depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is. This is a new and nuanced contribution to an enduring debate. I welcome it." Antonya Nelson, Author of Bound

Review:

"Jay Ponteri is a brave seeker with a capacious and conflicted heart. Equal parts confession, fantasy, meditation and rant, his deeply private memoir is fearless in its exploration of dark and uncomfortable corners in his marriage. These beautifully crafted pages shine a light on loneliness, marriage, fatherhood and how we sustain ourselves in our lives of perfect ordinariness." Natalie Serber, Author of Shout Her Lovely Name

Review:

"Many recent books have been written, of course, about sex, marriage, love, men, and women. Very few if any risk the level of intimacy, candor, and rawness that Jay Ponteri's book does. Very few if any behold the husband (in all his agony) with the depth that this book does. Very few if any expose the male psyche with this books nerve. None that I can think of is smarter about the uses of fantasy. I hugely admire Wedlocked." David Shields, Author of Reality Hunger: A Manifesto

About the Author

Jay Ponteri directs the undergraduate creative writing program at Marylhurst University and Show: Tell, The Workshop for Teen Writers and Artists. He is the founding editor of both the online literary magazine M Review and HABIT Books. His work has appeared in Tin House, Puerto Del Sol, Seattle Review and “Listen to This,” was chosen as a Notable Essay in The Best American Essays 2010. Jay lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and son.

Table of Contents

Listen To This . 15

The Manuscript (I) . 21

Putt-putt . 43

The Manuscript (II) . 53

Lost in Lost in Translation . 71

Whats Wrong With Me . 73

On Talking With Carlos . 79

Man in the Bubble . 83

So Hard It Bleeds . 87

The Manuscript (III) . 91

Tense . 115

Bring In the Clown . 117

The Manuscript (IV) . 119

The Saddest Part of the Story . 135

Before Video Games . 151

The Manuscript (V) . 153

Product Details

ISBN:
9780983850489
Author:
Ponteri, Jay
Publisher:
Hawthorne Books
Author:
Ponteri, Jay
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Biography-Women
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20130331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
174
Dimensions:
9 x 5.5 in

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Wedlocked: A Memoir New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$16.95 In Stock
Product details 174 pages Hawthorne Books - English 9780983850489 Reviews:
"Review" by , "There are many books being published today that are hailed as “daring” or “brave,” but for me, there is only one book that is daring and brave: this book is Jay Ponteri's Wedlocked. Ponteri does not flinch; he does not cower; he offers rawness and honesty, the storm, and the eye of the storm. His long hard stare at marriage and longing, at the inner life of ideas and dreams alongside the life of platitudes and home repairs, gives us a rare and undaunting meditation on and interrogation into these lives. We want him to stay; we want him to go. We want him to have the dream and destroy it too. Essayistic, narrative, and meditative by turns, Ponteri's is a beautiful and truly courageous voice."
"Review" by , "The great polish poet Czeslaw Milosz talked about the importance of a writer to engage with his or her shadow. That is, often a writer puts forth a kind of hero sense of the self, a sort of announcement to the world that the person you are sensing beneath the writing is essentially a nice, good, person. Milosz's point was that human beings are more complicated than simply being nice or good and that the shadow part of us holds a rich store of truth, meaning, and in the end understanding. So it is in Jay Ponteri's memoir, Wedlocked, that we find a writer engaged with his shadow, wrestling with it, losing and winning with it. This is a book that moves beyond simple individual honesty to the greater more complex honesty of human nature. It's a beautiful, sticky, bloody, sweaty, feverish book that will be hard for some people to read. Those who do, though, will find that what they have imagined is true: our romantic relationships, or relationships with the lover, with the self, with the other, are as complicated and messy and ecstatic as the human body engaged in them."
"Review" by , "In our understanding of gender, relationship, and desire — there is always another frontier of ignorance before us. In Wedlocked, Jay Ponteri goes into the country of marriage and masculinity in a way that is freshly honest, insightful, and tragic. Ponteri's fierce scrutiny of the degrees of separation inside union has not been performed before in this contemporary register. Bravely, he shines light on regions of the male psyche that mostly have been left in shadow. Wedlocked is a fascinating book that will interest all men and women who struggle in that sticky, lonely terrain between bonding and bondage." Tony Hoagland, Author of What Narcissism Means to Me, finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award
"Review" by , "Ponteri's story offers the contemporary reader a fresh way to contemplate our country's abiding love/hate relationship with the institution of marriage. We revere it; we chafe against it. We sin in our hearts, and our guilt depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is. This is a new and nuanced contribution to an enduring debate. I welcome it."
"Review" by , "Jay Ponteri is a brave seeker with a capacious and conflicted heart. Equal parts confession, fantasy, meditation and rant, his deeply private memoir is fearless in its exploration of dark and uncomfortable corners in his marriage. These beautifully crafted pages shine a light on loneliness, marriage, fatherhood and how we sustain ourselves in our lives of perfect ordinariness."
"Review" by , "Many recent books have been written, of course, about sex, marriage, love, men, and women. Very few if any risk the level of intimacy, candor, and rawness that Jay Ponteri's book does. Very few if any behold the husband (in all his agony) with the depth that this book does. Very few if any expose the male psyche with this books nerve. None that I can think of is smarter about the uses of fantasy. I hugely admire Wedlocked."
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