Black Lawrence Press

The Summer She Was Under Water

Summer She Was Under Water front only for screen

Praise

  • “The Summer She Was Underwater introduces us to the vivid Pinskis, a family unwilling to be honest about its past and ill-equipped to alter its future. Jen Michalski movingly captures the way mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, sisters and brothers jab at and dance around each other, alternately trying to soothe and to wound.”
    —Pamela Erens, author of Eleven Hours
  • “Jen Michalski’s The Summer She Was Under Water is a marvel of a novel whose dead-on portrayal of working-class American life poses that hard, uncomfortable question we’ve all asked ourselves: how do we address the wrongs of the past even as we attempt to love and be loved by our families? For Michalski’s unforgettable Pinski clan, the danger of trauma is that it’s never fully in the past, that it reverberates like an unseen wake on the surface of the river, ready to knock you from your mooring at any moment. In that way, The Summer She Was Under Water doesn’t just tell novelist Sam Pinski’s story; it tells the story of how each of us, in our own way, wants to grow beyond our perceived limitations and make peace with the people we once were. Put more simply: Jen Michalski is a writerly heavyweight and with The Summer She Was Under Water, we’re seeing her at the very top of her game.”
    —Nate Brown, editor, American Short Fiction
  • “Over a long weekend, Sam Pinski is confronted with her family’s difficult past and her own uncertain future. By turns harrowing and buoyant, Jen Michalski’s The Summer She Was Under Water weaves together present-day scenes with memory and even fantasy as Sam tries to reckon with the secret she’s kept nearly all her life. There are no easy answers here but instead a family’s dysfunction laid bare in all its messiness and heartbreak—and also its moments of occasional, near-accidental grace.”
    —Katharine Noel, author of Halfway House
  • “Jen Michalski has an extraordinary gift for revealing all the crooked tributaries that come together to form the ocean of the self. The Summer She Was Under Water brims with heat and longing and secrets, and yet again Michalski has delivered a story that dazzles and devastates.”
    —Laura van den Berg, author of Find Me
  • "Jen Michalski is a member of an exclusive club: that very small group of writers who could put out a novel, a novella, a story collection, a cereal box, a greeting card - and I'd read it all. She writes masterful, elegant, controlled works of fiction, yet she's unafraid to write movingly, to write passionate people with problems - the kind of characters who are, let's be honest, the reason we read with such hunger."
    —Amber Sparks, The Unfinished World and May We Shed These Human Bodies

Titles You Might Also Enjoy

Jen Michalski

Jen Michalski is the author of the novels The Summer She Was Under Water (Black Lawrence Press, December 2017) and The Tide King (Black Lawrence Press), the collections From Here and Close Encounters, and a couplet of novellas called Could You Be With Her Now (Dzanc Books). She is the managing editor of the literary journal  jmww and host of the monthly fiction reading series, Starts Here!

Michalski Author page

Connect with Jen