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Close Encounters Hardcover – July 27, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: So New; 1st edition (July 27, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0977815137
  • ISBN-13: 978-0977815135
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 4.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,293,379 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jen Michalski's work has appeared in McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Hobart Pulp, The Sommerset Review and many others. She lives in Baltimore.

More About the Author

Jen Michalski lives in Baltimore, Maryland. She was voted one of the best authors in Maryland by CBS News, one of "50 Women to Watch" by The Baltimore Sun, and "Best Writer" by Baltimore Magazine (Best of Baltimore issue, 2013).

Her novel THE TIDE KING was published by Black Lawrence Press (2013; winner of the Big Moose Prize). She is the author of two collections of fiction, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS (So New, 2007) and FROM HERE (Aqueous Books, 2014) and a collection of novellas, COULD YOU BE WITH HER NOW (Dzanc Books, 2013). She also edited the anthology CITY SAGES: BALTIMORE, which Baltimore Magazine called "Best of Baltimore" in 2010. She is the founding editor of the literary quarterly jmww, hosts the monthly reading series Starts Here! in Baltimore, and interviews writers at The Nervous Breakdown.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Caryn Coyle on August 16, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Jen Michalski weaves magic into her work. Whether she is telling us about the movie version of her life, writing the words for Whitney Houston's imaginary commencement speech, or narrating the tragic story of four Baltimore children and their "time machine," her words make you want to read more. "In Fetu," a cleverly written story of two distinct personalities in the same person, is a thoughtful narrative on what it would be like if one were truly two completly different persons who inhabited the same body; until "they" get pregnant and another set of twins is in fetu.
Jen Michalski is an exceptional writer and her first book is a literary feast.
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Format: Hardcover
Jen Michalski, my editor at JMWW, sent me this book as a gift. Much appreciated!!!! I always worry when it's time to say something on Goodreads, especially about friends, even ones I haven't met yet, like Jen! It's scary: I don't want to talk about things I didn't like, but I don't want to be overly gushy and obviously phony.

That being said, I LOVED Jen's collection! Most of the stories brought up new ideas I haven't read before, and as a person with 2 graduate degrees in short fiction writing, I've read A LOT. There were some stories that had familiar concepts, but I kept thinking of the infamous Ezra Pound's "make it new." Not one story felt easy, trivial, like a stereotype, or boring. I'm so excited to read more of her work (look for her new collection from Dzanc early 2013).

One interesting aspect, which I haven't seen before (maybe others have?), was the author's note; Jen describes her intentions with these stories (which also better explains the "out of this world" title). It reminded me of a poetry reading. Poets explain what their ideas were for a poem and then read it and I respond much better. This is also the reason I don't read a lot of poetry (a lot of it doesn't make sense without that background information). However, that wasn't the case here; the author's note added to the collection, providing a lens through which I could read the stories, but it didn't tell me HOW to read the stories. I would have made my own deductions without it, but I loved the heads up so I could get a richer experience on my first read.

I don't want to say much more, as many of these stories contain small surprises as the plot develops and reveals more information. You'll have to read them yourself.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love these stories. They are wild and inventive, everything I look for in stories. Each one has something unusual about it, yet each of the stories are very different. Some of them have some pretty strong emotional impact, though all of them are really well written. I picked this up on a whim and I'm quite impressed.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Phinney on August 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book! With each story, Ms. Michalski takes you on a journey that is intriguing and yet disturbing. She excels at bringing her characters to life, with all of their strengths, quirks, and vulnerabilities laid bare for all to see. I found myself thinking about the characters long after the stories were finished... With her first book, Jen Michalski shines as a vivid storyteller. She weaves each character into a finely crafted, beautiful tapestry that is frayed and tread-bear in places - just as we all are. Kudos, Ms. Michalski!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Adam Robinson on August 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Jen Michalski's short stories are at once subtly freaky, tender, and layered. Her lavish characters are Baltimoreans through-and-through; quirky, damaged, and gettin' by. She writes in acute prose, with each sentence in its place 'cause that's the place that they should be. The book itself -- as artifact -- is worth the purchase price alone as it seems lovingly hand-crafted (although, if you're persnickety, this means that some of the pages are hard to handle).
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