The Rona Jaffe Foundation  //  Celebrating 25 Years of Supporting Emergent Women Writers

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2016
WINNER »

Asako Serizawa

fiction

Asako Serizawa holds degrees from Tufts University, Brown University, and Emerson College, where she received her MFA in Creative Writing. A former Fiction Fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, her work has been awarded, among others, a Pushcart Prize, two O. Henry Prizes, and a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award. She has also received support from the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Troedsson Villa Artist Residency in Japan. Her collection of interconnected stories, Inheritors, is forthcoming from Doubleday in 2020.

The Value of Support

"Over the years, the task of balancing my practical responsibilities with my writing needs trimmed my life to its essentials, but my project, over ten years in the making—an interconnected short story collection spanning 150 years and tracing five generations of a family fractured across Asia and the U.S. by war—was slow going, its completion, as well as my sense of its viability, blinking in and out of focus. Then, several years ago, I received a seven-month fellowship from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, where I made tangible progress, after which pressing on felt critical. I find it impossible to adequately express how vital the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award was for me. The Award, life-alteringly generous, afforded me not only a whole year of truly full-time writing (!!) but also the freedom to return to Japan for final research, something I hadn’t been able to do for many years. It was a new kind of reinforcement to feel supported as a writer for my entire project alongside the diverse work of other similarly invested women. And now I do have a complete manuscript scheduled to be published next year!"