Jen Michalski is author of the novels The Tide King, winner of the 2012 Big Moose Prize, and The Summer She Was Under Water. She is the author of two collections of fiction, From Here and Close Encounters, and a collection of novellas, Could You Be With Her Now. In 2013 she was named one of "50 Women to Watch" by The Baltimore Sun and won a "Best of Baltimore" for Best Writer from Baltimore Magazine. She is the founding editor of the literary quarterly jmww and host of The Starts Here! Reading Series and the biannual Lit Show. She lives in Baltimore, MD
Speaking of passion, I'm giving a shout out here for Laura Ellen Scott's debut novel, Death Wishing. It's a fresh idea ("What if your most fervent wish could come true, and all you had to do was…die first.") set in the always-randy and weird world of New Orleans, and I'd hack off my left arm for the ability to write Scott's smart prose with my right. With the commercial fiction market often saturated with sameness, I'm always excited when I read something so completely bizarre and engrossing. Death Wishing, let's get married. Although you're so weirdly good and not presentable to my mother, we might have to elope instead.