In addition to the direct links below, Jen's books are also available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powells Books, McNally Jackson Books, Atomic Books, The Ivy Bookshop, Politics and Prose, and other fine booksellers
The Summer She Was Under Water
It has been twenty years since Sam Pinski, a young novelist, has spent the Fourth of July weekend with her family at their cabin on the Susquehanna River. There, she must confront a chaotic history of mental illness, alcoholism, and physical violence and struggle to find perspective in the pulse of things familiar and respite from the shame of the taboo relationship that courses through her. As she does, a subplot emerges: Excerpts are included from Sam’s metaphoric novel in which a pregnant man tries to solve the mystery of his fertility and absolve himself of his past. Then tragedy strikes the Pinskis and they must draw together, tentatively realizing that they will continue to spin off in their own orbits unless they begin the hard work of forgiveness themselves.
(2015 USA Book Awards Finalist, Short Fiction)
The twelve stories in FROM HERE explore the dislocations and intersections of people searching, running away, staying put. Their physical and emotional landscapes run the gamut, but in the end, they're all searching for a place to call home.
The Tide King
Stanley Polensky and Calvin Johnson serve in Germany during World War II. Calvin, near death after being shelled, is given a bewitched herb by Stanley but then left for dead. Each soldier returns from the war and years pass. Calvin, discovering that he cannot age and cannot die, searches for Stanley to get answers.
Michalski's The Tide King is the story of burnette saxifrage, an herb rumored in Polish folklore to provide those who eat it with immortality, and its effects on three generations of a Polish family over two continents beginning in 19th-century Poland and ending
in 1976 America.
Could You Be With Her Now
This collection of two novellas showcases Jen Michalski's varying skills as a writer. In "I Can Make It to California Before It's Time for Dinner," Michalski examines the dangers of living in a world while having a compromised reality. In a first-person narrative, the reader follows Jimmy, a mentally challenged fourteen-year-old boy who accidentally kills a neighborhood girl. He winds up running away and hitching a ride with a trucker who is not as trustworthy a companion as Jimmy believes him to be. In "May-September," which won first place in Press 53's Open Awards in 2010, a young writer is hired by a much-older woman over the summer to help blog her memoirs for her grandchildren. An unlikely friendship, and more, follows, as Michalski examines one of the last cultural taboos of our age: May-December romances.
2007, So New Media
Because So New is currently on hiatus, if you want to buy a signed book directly from me (softcover), you can order it via PayPal (us Buy Now button; $10.00 + $2.00 S&H). Books usually ship within a few days of your order. (You can also order from Amazon).
The House That Made Me: Writers Reflect on the Places and People That Defined Them
Home―the place where we were born, where we learned our first lessons, where family was defined. The very notion evokes powerful feelings, feelings as individual as our fingerprints, as enduring as the universe and as inescapable as gravity. In this candid, evocative collection of essays, a diverse group of acclaimed authors reflects on the diverse homes, neighborhoods, and experiences that helped shape them―using Google Earth software to revisit the location in the process. Moving and life-affirming, this poignant anthology gives fresh insight into the concept of Home.