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Asako Serizawa


Asako Serizawa was born in Japan and raised in Singapore, Jakarta, and Tokyo. A graduate of Tufts University, Brown University, and Emerson College, she has received two O. Henry Prizes, a Pushcart Prize, and fellowships from MacDowell, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Her first book, Inheritors (Doubleday, 2020), won the PEN/Open Book Award and The Story Prize Spotlight Award, and was a Massachusetts Book Awards Honors Book. It was also longlisted for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize.

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!"

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