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Dzanc Books is nonprofit press specializing in literary fiction and nonfiction. In addition to publishing activities, Dzanc Books also supports the Disquiet International Literary Program.

Could You Be With Her Now, by Jen Michalski

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Could You Be With Her Now, by Jen Michalski


Could You Be With Her Now, by Jen Michalski


Publication Date: March 5, 2013
Paperback: 180 pages
ISBN: 978-1-938103-57-5
Trim: 8.4 x 5.4


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 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: same-sex May-December romances. Michalski is also the author of the debut novel The Tide King (forthcoming, 2013 Black Lawrence Press) and lives in Baltimore.



"Jen Michalski writes differently than most people these days. She reminds me of Flannery O’Connor and Alice Munro, and there is a calmness and dignity to her prose, despite its darkness, which is almost antithetical to anything else I’ve read. She never takes the easy way out; she always walks straight into the storm."
—Ben Lorry, author of Stories for the Night and Some for the Day

"With these two brilliant novellas, Michalski shows us that she is an enormous talent, one to be reckoned with. Using an impressive range of voice, and a serious grasp of human frailty and beauty, she tackles the very mystery of our human existence. These are extraordinary graceful books." —Paula Bomer, author of Nine Months and Baby

"Jen Michalski is a stunning writer. The two novellas that make up Could You Be With Her Now are everything you could want them to be: urgent, darkly funny, devastating. Every moment, even the most seemingly ordinary, crackles with danger and surprise." —Laura van den Berg, author of What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us

"Michalski's novellas are a beautiful one-two punch to the heart. They astonish with their wisdom, sly grace, and trenchant insights into the price of happiness." –James Magruder, author of Sugarless                                                        


"...the book feels like a tour de force statement on how--and why--novellas continue to be written."--Baltimore  Fishbowl

"This is an admirable and original book. Michalski is a skilled storyteller."--Chamber Four

"Jen Michalski explores what it means to be vulnerable in a modern society."--Little Patuxent Review

"The two very different styles in Could You Be With Her Now, not only make the case for the novella as a form, but also for Michalski as a wise writer and a master stylist."--Baltimore City Paper

"Jen is an astonishingly sensitive writer."--HTML Giant