“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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Interview with Laura van den Berg at Baltimore Fishbowl

I had so much fun interviewing Laura van den Berg at The Baltimore Fishbowl, and I'm even more excited to host her and fellow writer Katharine Noel at Starts Here! (An Ivy Bookshop reading series; January 7th, 7 pm, Artifact Coffee). Laura's second collection of fiction, The Isle of Youth (FSG), a collection of "lost" narrators in often-exotic vistas, is fantastic. Although she is unsentimental, there is a particularly sensitivity to her stories that devastates. Each word has the weight and height of a water balloon and bruises your heart like a brick. So what is Laura's isle of youth?
A place where Law & Order is on every single channel day and night and where there is an infinite supply of red wine and gourmet tacos and good, weird books.

I actually think each story is its own kind of “isle”—a place where I go to at once get away from something and to discover something that surprises me.
To read more of the interview, go here. For more information on the reading, go here.