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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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Passenger



The name of the character in the new novel came to me last night. This character was not the main character, or a character at all, until recently. It's funny how you sort of muck around in something, headed in the right direction but maybe you should be on the boulevard instead of the highway, and you take the exit and she walks out of the convenience store and begins to dissolve into the night. And how do you do stop her? Do you play inviting music in your car, parked by the pump, do you offer her a cigarette? The song is something muddled with whisper words, like Kim Gordon and Sonic Youth and she sing about cars and getting out of here and baby won't you come with me? But you, you say it with your eyes. They are guarded but behind the curtain of your eyelids you're pleading, your fists sweaty and balled, holding a box of tic tacs, a roll of certs, a pack of cigarettes. Baby, come with me.

Of course, I really need to finish up the current novel, but it's nice to feel like you know what you're doing for the next year or two.

(Photograph by Roadsidepictures, Leucadia, California, Creative Commons license)