When Emerson was twelve, she was enamored by her grandmother Amelia and believed that what others saw as eccentricity or mental illness was instead a misunderstood gift.
Available March 15, 2023
We Arrive Uninvited, won the Prose Award from Steel Toe Books
A tender coming-of-age story set in the Ohio flatlands that plays deftly with mystery and the wonders of female power and intuition. Jen Knox explores with insight and wisdom the “hysteria” that women were, and still are, often labeled with, and counsels us to connect with the “pulse of the earth” and to each other. A talented writer exhibiting her own intuition, Knox understands that our greatest fear is loneliness. In We Arrive Uninvited, she gifts us myriad ways to find a cure.
—Tara Lynn Masih, National Jewish Book Award Finalist for My Real Name Is Hanna
In Jen Knox’s prize-winning novel, We Arrive Uninvited, the reader enters the world of dual narrators, two women, two generations apart, women grappling with the sometimes-alarming gifts of intuition, foretelling, and psychic receptivity—the goddess gifts interpreted by our culture as madness or worse, witchery. Amelia, the grandmother, relates her tragic yet touched-by-the-marvelous life story to her granddaughter, Emerson, a high school student whose mother has just died, and who shares her gifts. Both women struggle against a world in which the idiosyncratic is penalized and originality is medicated. Both experience love denied and love realized. Knox is an exceptional writer and a compassionate one, her finely wrought prose like Tolstoy’s becomes that pool of clear water you see through to the bottom, so flawless nothing encumbers the story’s realization. We Arrive Uninvited compels us to turn pages and to consider what it is we’ve read.
—Stephanie Dickinson, author of Razor Wire Wilderness and Blue Swan Black Swan: The Trakl Diaries
Jen Knox creates a tale spun on the wishes, dreams, and revised visions of a girl who comes into her own abilities while facing down a family history of madness. Her passionate voice lends authority and insights to Emerson's first-person journey to create a compelling read highly recommended for readers interested in a very different kind of coming-of-age story.
—Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review
★ Chapbook (available in print, ebook and audio)
★ Excerpts in Flash Fiction Magazine, MoonPark Reivew &
The Best Small Fictions
★ Audio narrated by Suzanne Warfield
The Glass City
5-year Anniversary edition forthcoming.
“Jen Knox is a fearless writer. She can describe a Toledo community decimated by apocalyptic drought, a bakery in Nice during a terrorist attack, a surreal museum of living statues, and make every one of these things feel as real and intimate as your favorite worn-in flannel shirt. Acutely alert to the smallest moments that reveal character, her stories can give you a whole life in a few short paragraphs, laid bare in all its sorrow, glory, and restless longing. She can work dialogue, twist a plot, make you laugh out loud, and then break your heart. The Glass City speaks to the America of now as urgently as Sinclair Lewis or Theodore Dreiser did in their day, but with a
touch of magic that only makes the reality beneath that much more haunting.”
—Sheila Black, author of Iron, Ardent
“Jen Knox is a master cartographer of the human psyche. In the stories of The Glass City, she maps the depths and complexity of the human mind against the backdrop of a future so possible yet so surreal that it’s nearly futile to try to set the book down. I kept telling myself, just one more page before bed, just one more story—until I found myself turning the last page in the middle of the night, having forgotten to eat dinner. Ultimately, The Glass City is the miracle of artistic imagination at its absolute peak: read casually, it thrills and entertains us with insightful depictions of who we are; read deeply, it shows us who we can become.”
—Melissa Studdard, author of I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast
“A set of penetrating and absorbing tales."
Each of these nine flash-fiction stories offers a little taste of magic coupled with meditation. Philosophical and inventive, in turn, Knox examines the human condition through modern myth, broaching topics such as generational divides and similarities, enchantments mistaken for madness, and anxiety induced from overactive imaginations. Short enough to consume in moments, each of tiny stories unfurls and unfolds, introducing us to new worlds in unexpected ways that will offer pause and perspective, perhaps even a brief reprieve."
In a seamless blend of the literary and the speculative, Jen Knox's short prose delivers sharp shards of love and truth. Knox captivates and transports her readers with lyrical constructions, achingly resonant lost souls, and the hopeful glimmer of an artistic life."
—Mary Lynn Reed & Lesley C. Weston, Editors, MoonPark Review
"In this collection of tautly woven stories, Jen Knox offers us surreal adult parables. The fantastical nudges up against Odd Lots, paying rent, and worrying about aging parents. Logic ricochets off into all kinds of boundless directions, pushing out our sense of the "ordinary" so we learn to expect anything in these stories: a young girl who discovers the backs of her knees spill out coins, an installation artist who talks to the muse in her plump belly. Each character stumbles through a tired, not always empathetic world, but her fears, anxieties and strange talents leave open the possibility for something a little bit better."
—Alexandra van de Kamp, author of Kiss/Hierarchy