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“Jen Michalski’s second novel is an intense emotional commitment, but a worthwhile one.” – Ploughshares


“Jen is an astonishingly sensitive writer.” – HTML Giant


“Jen Michalski excels in subtlety that is made possible by her nuanced understanding of voice.” – The Rumpus


“Jen is a writerly heavyweight.” – Nate Brown, American Short Fiction


“We’re lucky to have Michalski before the rest of the world discovers her. But they will.” – Baltimore City Paper

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Halloween Everyday

I don't remember with any great detail my Halloween costumes as a child, which as a writer, puzzles me. I do know that I was a gypsy one year, courtesy of my mother's black velour robe and two scarfs (one for a bandanna and one for a belt) and that I wore the plastic Peter Kris of KISS costume from the box two years in a row (obsession or lack of imagine I'm not sure). My best costume didn't come until freshman year of college, when I was a very convincing Bob Marley for Halloween. My hair dreds easily, and with the help of some black hairspray, concealer for dark skin, and mascara, I was able to convince a few people that (a) I was black and (b) I was a man.

But I haven't gotten into Halloween so much as an adult. Other than Twiggy in 1994 (impossible to pull off at my size), I haven't really made much of an effort to be someone else. Not that I am not entirely in love with the idea—it's just as a writer, I kind of have Halloween everyday. I'm constantly in my characters' heads, and I can dress them up and make them do things and put them in situations and eventually they begin to just act on their own, ripping out their strings. Halloween is year-round for some of us.

Except for the candy. If I ate as much candy during the year as I end the few days before and after Halloween, I'd be in a diabetic coma right now. Unfortunately, there's still a chance of that.