Tropical Leaves

Jen Fawkes

Writer, Simulacrum, Crone


Debut story collection from LSU Press


"The stories in Mannequin and Wife are lapel-grabbers, brimming with urgency and conviction. They are also deeply imagined, elegantly constructed, and emotionally rich. Jen Fawkes is a lively and most convincing storyteller, and her debut deserves attention."

―Chris Bachelder,

author of The Throwback Special, a finalist for the National Book Award

"Mannequin and Wife is magical in every sense of the word. These stories are eerie, funny, sharp, strange, devastating, joyous, brilliant―larger than life. I loved each one so much I never wanted it to end, until the next one started. A bravura debut from a bold new talent."

―Clare Beams,

author of The Illness Lession


"These stories are deep dives into the dark waters, full of both treachery and beauty. Jen Fawkes has a boundless imagination, and these stories, full of ghosts, carnival performers, murderers, seekers, lovers, and even talking piñatas, surprise and enchant."

―Caitlin Horrocks,

author of The Vexations


"Jen Fawkes' stories are complete, utterly satisfying circles. They're everything I look for in my reading: funny, deeply and authentically felt, odd without being disorienting. Fans of Aimee Bender, Kelly Link, and Donald Barthelme will find plenty to love here, but so will fans of Carver or Chekhov. This is what I mean when I say her stories are complete: they don't rely just on gags, or bizarre premises, or pathos. It would be enough, for a lesser writer, to show us the ridiculousness of her characters' lives, or just render the sadness we all walk around with, and leave it at that. Fawkes takes it a step further: once she's finished demonstrating the absurdity and tragedy of her characters, she then gives them the strength, insight, and courage to act, to be deliberate, to rise above or dive below as the case may indicate. Too often in contemporary American fiction, characters spend all their time thinking. Fawkes has the good sense to let hers act, to bracing effect."


 -- Ron Currie Jr.,

author of Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles


"Jen Fawkes's stories have the blaze of immediacy about them, like creatures from some other plane of reality who have broken temporarily and all at once into being, displaying the whole of their life in a single burst. How fortunate for us that Fawkes has her eyes open wide, trained in just the right direction to see the things that no one else is seeing."


― Kevin Brockmeier,

author of The Brief History of the Dead



Jen Fawkes has been a waitress, a tax preparer, a bartender, a museum interpreter, a cleaning woman, and a college professor. She is the author of Mannequin and Wife (LSU Press 2020). Her second book, Tales the Devil Told Me, won the 2020 Press 53 Award for Short Fiction and is forthcoming in October of 2021. Jen's work has appeared in One Story, Crazyhorse, Lit Hub, The Rumpus, The Iowa Review, Best Small Fictions 2020, and elsewhere. She is the winner of numerous fiction prizes, from The Pinch, SalamanderWashington Square Review, and others. She lives in Little Rock, Arkansas, with her husband and several imaginary friends.

Tropical Leaves



"Sometimes, They Kill Each Other" (excerpt)

Lit Hub

Sept 2020

"Flight of the Businessman"

The Rumpus

August 2020



“We Can Learn from the Sawhorse”

Atticus Review

fall 2019

“Possible Wildlife in Road”


fall 2019

"Dear Delores Dale"


fall 2019


Jellyfish Review

fall 2019

“Options Counseling”

SFWP Quarterly

summer 2019

“Come Back, Rita”


spring 2018


Jersey Devil Press

fall 2017



spring 2015

“Tigers Don’t Apologize”

Amazon’s Day One

fall 2014



One Story

winter 2013/14

“Iphigenia in Baltimore”


winter 2013/14

“Rebirth of the Big Top”

The Iowa Review

fall 2013

“Never, Never”

Michigan Quarterly Review

winter 2013



“Demerol, Demerol, Benzedrine, Schnaps”

The Massachusetts Review

fall 2012


"What to Read When You Suspect That Time Is Not a Line"

The Rumpus

August 2020


"Not a Love Story"

Miracle Monocle

spring 2017





"Dangerous Women: a Conversation

with Jen Fawkes"

VIDA Review 

September 2020


"Release the Book: Jen Fawkes"

Fear No Lit

October 2020



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© 2020 by Jen Fawkes. All rights reserved.