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"You'll Be Fine" by Jen Michalski

In "You'll Be Fine," a new novel by Jen Michalski, many of the characters are gay or trans, but the family tensions are universal -- and so is the laughter! Credit: provided by author

Author Jen Michalski centered her third novel, "You’ll Be Fine," on a magazine writer in her 30’s who’s still carrying baggage from a couple failed love affairs, as she tries to find common ground with her feckless younger brother and deals with a lot of unresolved conflicts with her bohemian mother. And then her mother dies.

Still, Michalski says, she and her editor felt the family was working out the tensions in a predictable way:

“I began to think, what sort of monkey wrench can I throw into their relationship. And just out of the blue this character named Johanna stepped in, like clearly as she walked into the door of my mind. And was like, ‘hello’ and I was like, ‘hello!’ And then the novel just became completely transformed.”

Links: Jen Michalski and James Magruder will discuss their latest books at a Writers LIVE! event at Enoch Pratt Central Branch Library Oct. 26 at 7pm.

Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.
Melissa Gerr is a producer for On the Record. She started in public media at Twin Cities Public Television in St. Paul, Minn., where she is from, and then worked as a field producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting in Portland. She made the jump to audio-lover in Baltimore as a digital media editor at Mid-Atlantic Media and Laureate Education, Inc. and as a field producer for "Out of the Blocks." Her beat is typically the off-beat with an emphasis on science, culture and things that make you say, 'Wait, what?'