“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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Shadow Sonata

Photo by Lynn Silverman
The woman in my dream grew scared of light. It burned her eyes, her skin, betrayed the blemishes on her chin, the wormholes in the apple, and she went inside. She turned on low lamps, lit candles. She found she could do everything by small, artificial light that she could in the sun—read, take a bath, see her face, run across the room, put on her lipstick. Her life became soft with a velvet slab of shadows, shadows that rested in her cheeks, the crook of her elbows, the spaces between her knuckles. If she stood close enough to the tiny flames of the votive candles, she felt heat, tepid, like old tea. She turned on all the lights in the summer and only a few in the winter. By the window the sun bled at the edges of the window shade, a corona of glass promising her heaven or apocalypse. She pressed the edges of the shade tighter against the sill, stepped farther inside.