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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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My So-Called Characters

My dreams make my stories—the emotionally charged mysteries that I wake up to and attempt to unravel—that said, sometimes even I am unprepared for what my Jungian cookie monster brain throws out there. Like these two friends who are girls in New York (think Kristin McCloy's Some Girls and "My So-Called Life" and probably "Girls" all rolled up into one). One is dark and feral and just can't get anything together, whether cleaning her apartment or getting to her job, and the other, a is a blonde, from Texas via Copenhagen (and a lovely strange accent) who she runs into on the street—Rayanne to her Angela.

But the girls disgusted me. They lived in squalor; they each think the other is beautiful when they're plain at the most generous, hideous at the most honest. And yet they are very feminine and chaotic, seductive in their femininity (and miniskirts and heels and jars of Ponds facial creme). The blonde soaks her bra, panties, and bedsheet in her urine-filled toilet because she decides she wants to be Piss-Christ for Halloween.

These girls are as revolting as they are fascinating, and I don't know where they came from. I'd regret reading about them if I can upon them in a short story, but I'd probably never forget them.