In addition to the direct links below, Jen's books are also available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powells Books, McNally Jackson Books, Atomic Books, The Ivy Bookshop, Politics and Prose, and other fine booksellers
You'll Be Fine
"An enjoyable story about an adult trying to grow up"—Kirkus Reviews.
A "Best Small Press Book"—Buzzfeed
A "Best Books We Read This Year" pick—Independent Book Review
After Alex’s mother dies of an accidental overdose, Alex takes leave from her job as a writer for a lifestyle magazine to return home to Maryland and join her brother Owen, a study in failure to launch, in sorting out their mother’s whimsical, often self-destructive, life. While home, Alex plans to profile Juliette Sprigg, an Eastern Shore restaurant owner and celebrity chef in the making who Alex secretly dated in high school. And when Alex enlists the help of Carolyn, the editor of the local newspaper, in finding a photographer for the article’s photo shoot, Alex struggles with the deepening, tender relationship that blossoms between them as well. To complicate matters, Alex and Owen’s “Aunt” Johanna, who has transitioned to a woman, offers to come from Seattle to help with arrangements, and all hell breaks loose when she announces she is actually Alex and Owen’s long-estranged father. Can Alex accept her mother and father for who they are, rather than who she hoped they would be? And can Alex apply the same philosophy to herself?
The Summer She Was Under Water
Black Lawrence Press, 2017
Aqueous Books, 2014
The twelve stories in FROM HERE explore the dislocations and intersections of people searching, running away, staying put. Their physical and emotional landscapes run the gamut, but in the end, they're all searching for a place to call home.
The Tide King
Black Lawrence Press, 2013(Winner, 2012 Big Moose Prize; First Place Winner, 2016 Somerset Awards)
Stanley Polensky and Calvin Johnson serve in Germany during World War II. Calvin, near death after being shelled, is given a bewitched herb by Stanley but then left for dead. Each soldier returns from the war and years pass. Calvin, discovering that he cannot age and cannot die, searches for Stanley to get answers.
Michalski's The Tide King is the story of burnette saxifrage, an herb rumored in Polish folklore to provide those who eat it with immortality, and its effects on three generations of a Polish family over two continents beginning in 19th-century Poland and ending
in 1976 America.
Could You Be With Her Now
Dzanc Books, 2013
This collection of two novellas showcases Jen Michalski's varying skills as a writer. In "I Can Make It to California Before It's Time for Dinner," Michalski examines the dangers of living in a world while having a compromised reality. In a first-person narrative, the reader follows Jimmy, a mentally challenged fourteen-year-old boy who accidentally kills a neighborhood girl. He winds up running away and hitching a ride with a trucker who is not as trustworthy a companion as Jimmy believes him to be. In "May-September," which won first place in Press 53's Open Awards in 2010, a young writer is hired by a much-older woman over the summer to help blog her memoirs for her grandchildren. An unlikely friendship, and more, follows, as Michalski examines one of the last cultural taboos of our age: May-December romances.
Dzanc Books, 2007
American University Press, 2018The eighth volume of the series started by Richard Peabody and Paycock Press! Fiction by DC-area women, edited by incoming series editor Melissa Scholes-Young!
The House That Made Me: Writers Reflect on the Places and People That Defined Them
SparkPoint Press, 2016
Home―the place where we were born, where we learned our first lessons, where family was defined. The very notion evokes powerful feelings, feelings as individual as our fingerprints, as enduring as the universe and as inescapable as gravity. In this candid, evocative collection of essays, a diverse group of acclaimed authors reflects on the diverse homes, neighborhoods, and experiences that helped shape them―using Google Earth software to revisit the location in the process. Moving and life-affirming, this poignant anthology gives fresh insight into the concept of Home.