Jen Michalski

Available Now

You'll Be Fine (2021; NineStar Press)

"An enjoyable story about an adult trying to grow up"
Kirkus Reviews

Selected, "Best Books We Read This Year (2021)”— Independent Book Review

Coming Soon

The Company of Strangers
(2022; Braddock Avenue Books)

To the Country of Knives and Ghosts

I want to move far away, like to France or Prague or maybe Spain. I worry that I will be homesick, that I will feel a little hopeful if I find a McDonalds or a Starbucks down the street from my apartment, that I will need some sort of landmark crutch to keep my bearings. Why don't we want to read about McDonalds or Starbucks in stories? No one wants read about a bank machine or a Cricket store in Newfoundland in The Shipping News. I don't, either. This type of outmoded, outdated, faceless place is where I would like to live, where I will spend half the day roaming the town square in search of typewriter ribbon, where I can't check Facebook because there is no Internet. But do we want that, do I want that? We want the unfamiliar only when the familiar is suspended for a little while, when we can turn on the lights if the dark begins to look like knives and ghosts.

But how will I turn on the lights in Barcelona? How will I get over being homesick? I will get up Friday, Saturday, Sunday through Friday, repeat, and one day, after so many Friday, Saturday, Sunday repeats, more fingers and toes and calendar squares put together, I will wake up and not realize that I am no longer homesick, that perhaps I've felt like this all along, however it is I will feel.

At home, I can just close the book.