Synopses & Reviews
The title novella is a first-person account of a mentally challenged fourteen-year-old boy who accidentally kills a neighborhood girl and winds up running away and hitching a ride with a trucker who is not as trustworthy a companion as Jimmy believes him to be. Jen Michalski examines the dangers of living in a world while having a compromised reality in this beautiful and engaging story.
Combined with a Press 53 award-winning novella, this duo shows Michalski's varying skills as a writer. Michalski also edits the online journal jmww, and runs a reading series in Baltimore, Maryland.
"In tandem, [the novellas] inform one another, their threads entangling, ultimately affording a more complete reading of the collection as a whole." Nik Korpin, Electric Literature
"The two very different styles in Could You Be With Her Now, not only make the case for the novellas as form, but also for Michalski as a wise writer and master stylist." Baynard Woods, Baltimore City Paper
"Jen is an astonishingly sensitive writer." Adam Robinson, HTML Giant
"Stewart O'Nan has written understandingly and movingly about the life of an older woman in Emily, Alone: A Novel. 'May-September' adds to the admittedly limited oeuvre with the inspiring story of a woman who can still come alive through love." Celeste Sollod, Style Magazine
"At the center of it all is Michalskis masterful hand, at once compassionate and unflinching, possessed of extraordinary, aesthetic restraint. What she has given us are two lean bodies of incredible depth and ambition." Sara Lippmann, [Pank]
"This is an admirable and original book. Michalski is a skilled storywriter." Roman Gladstone, Chamber Four
"Michalski is just a damned good writer, and her subject matter is, at the same time, the most common story there is: love. She handles it beautifully, revealing herself as one of the finest writers working today." Cort Bledsoe, Ampersand Review
"Could You Be With Her Now, a book of two novellsa, is one of the most writerly books I've come across in awhile. What I mean is, Michalski gave a lot of thought to how she wanted to write these stories and then executed them so beautifully that the result is a piece of art to be admired as it is absorbed." Lindsey Silken, Hello Giggles
"In both stories, Michalski explores what it means to be vulnerable in modern society, what it means to be invisible, powerless, voicelesseither from mental or physical frailitybut struggling to matter in the world just the same. How carelessness and resentments on part of the family members can inadvertently thrust their vulnerable loved ones into situations that bring unexpected, unwanted, painful consequences." Rosalia Scalia, The Little Patuxent Review
'While Dinner” feels like a celebration of its forms nervous charms, May-September” expands on its state of grace” strengths, lending Now a certain comprehensive sweep; taken as a whole, the book feels like a tour de force statement on how and why novellas continue to be written." Joseph Martin, Baltimore Fishbowl
"Together, these works illustrate how so often, we fail to go any deeper than the surface of those around us. Both in Jimmy and Sandra's interactions with the world around them, there is a breakdown of communication, and a failing of those who are close." Jennifer Ray Morell, Sundog Lit
"Kudos to Michalski for giving me ALL THE EMOTIONS. Whether you fall into these two stories willingly, or struggle to catalog and exercise all of the demons you are dealing with as you make your way through, one thing is certain. Michalski will make you feel. And feeling... well, feeling anything feels good." Lori Hettler, The Next Best
Michalski examines the dangers of living in a world while having a compromised reality in this beautiful and engaging story.
About the Author
Jen Michalski: Jen Michalski's collection of short fiction, Close Encounters, is available from So New Media and her chapbook Cross Sections from Publishing Genius. Her work has appeared widely, including McSweeney's, failbetter, storySouth, and Hobart among others. She edits the online journal jmww.