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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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5/31/13: Short Story Month: My Post on Dawn Raffel

In honor of Short Story Month, which draws to a close today, I examine Dawn Raffel's "Our Heaven" over at Emerging Writers Network. Dawn is one of my favorite authors, and her collection of short stories, Further Adventures in the Restless Universe (2010), a primer of how to really develop one's own language for telling, as it were. Her prose is like waves, bringing shells to the shore and tossing them back, their configurations bringing new meanings with each trip to the shore.

Our Heaven” is one of my favorites. What seems like a loose, list-like collection of memories of the narrator’s family and childhood home in Illinois is actually a multilayered painting puzzle that uses repetition, symbolism, juxtaposition, and word choice to great effect.
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