Monday, December 26, 2016

Review of The Summer She Was Under at Ploughshares

Thanks so much to Kira Frank for her review of The Summer She Was Under Water at Ploughshares:

 " can we heal when loved ones don’t even realize they’ve hurt us? Jen Michalski’s second novel is an intense emotional commitment, but a worthwhile one." 

 To read more, go here.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

New Fiction at jmww,

One of my favorite columns at jmww is Meg Tuite's exquisitely curated "Exquisite Duet," in which two writers are given the same sentence or phrase and asked to write a poem or short fiction piece incorporating it. Of course, I was thrilled when Meg invited me to duet for December, with one of my favorite writers, Elise Levine. Our phrase was "Let's pretend it happened." I've posted the first few lines of each of our responses. You can read the entire duet at jmww:


"Let us pretend. On a warm summer afternoon in the country it happened that my brother slapped me. In the flash that followed the bees ceased to hum. The ivy hardened despite the breeze. I wept and our cherished nurse Chantal clucked from her bench and waddled over. Her thick kiss quieted me. My brother—famous now, ruthless even then—bit his tongue from laughing, so hard the blood poured. The wound festered. After a brief confinement, he died."


I am curious. I guess that’s why I go–I want to know what I’m missing. Like a cast-iron French oven, champagne flutes. Hand-braided abaca placemats and 12-cup Cuisinarts. So many ways to design a life, encapsulated in a printed-out bridal registry at Crate & Barrel.

“You’ll never need all of these things,” I point out as her fingers caress napkin rings, ceramic bowls.

“But you’ll never know which one of them you’ll need,” she smiles. She knows how to knot a scarf so that it floats effortlessly around her neck; on mine, it always looks like a noose. “You’ll get married someday, too.”

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Interview at Bmore Art

Thanks to Tyler Mendelsohn and the folks at Bmore Art for interviewing me about my second novel, The Summer She Was Under Water, and also my work as host of the Starts Here! reading series in Baltimore, which is moving to a new time and location in 2017. 

“The great thing about Baltimore,” says Michalski, “is that if you see a need for something, there’s nothing to keep you from creating it. [When I was starting out] I didn’t have anything to lose—the worst people could say was no, not respond. And I’d be no worse off. But I wound up gaining so much. And so, I think, did the community.” 

 To read more, go here.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Pushcart Nomination for my story, "Three Girls"

Super excited that Barrelhouse Magazine nominated my story "Three Girls" for a Pushcart. If we're doing everything in threes, hopefully the third time's the charm for me! You can read the story online here:

"When they were twelve in the stairwell they didn’t kiss. It was not something she had considered then, and even as she daydreams about him now, gripping her shoulders from behind, penetrating her, in backyard tents, behind basement dryers, underneath his old sailboat comforter, she realizes that they should have run into the snow that night. If they did not think about it, the cold, they could get very far away."

Monday, November 21, 2016

Review of The Summer She Was Under Water at Small Press Picks

Thanks so much to Small Press Picks for this smart review of The Summer She Was Under Water:

"In certain respects the very structure of the novel—the way it weaves together the present and the past, and draws on excerpts from Sam’s surreal novel—echoes Sam’s process of mulling over her past, with all its conflicts and confusions, and her efforts to come to terms with it. Although The Summer She Was Under Water provides no neat resolutions, it offers hope that people can find ways to move forward with the realities of their lives, with or without each other."

To read more, go here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Review of The Summer She Was Under Water at The Rumpus

So excited to read Stephanie Bento's review of The Summer She Was Under Water today at The Rumpus:

"the story pulls the reader into a dark and uncomfortable place. This is where Michalski’s ability to engage the reader’s compassion and sensitivity is most profound. The Pinskis, to be sure, have their problems, but Michalski invites the reader to consider the family in a softer light as they navigate the currents of time and loss."

To read more, go here.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Interview and Review of Summer at Baltimore Magazine

I sat down with Arts & Culture editor Gabrielle Souza to talk about my new novel, The Summer She Was Under Water, for the November issue of Baltimore Magazine (in addition to the interview in both formats, there's also a review in the print edition):

"I think a lot of people and families everywhere deal with these kinds of issues that there aren’t easy answers for, and you just have to make the best of the situation."

To read more, go here: