Credit: Sindayiganza Photography

WINNER »

2020

Temim Fruchter

fiction

Temim Fruchter is working on both a short story collection and her first novel, City of Laughter. These projects reflect and celebrate her deeply rooted Jewish heritage and her queer identity combining a keen intellect with playful inventiveness and deep wisdom. She says, “My novel spans four generations of women in an Eastern European Jewish family and dreams of a queer ancestral line. The story zigzags geographically and temporally, moving from Poland in the 1920s to Brooklyn in the 1950s, to Maryland in the 1980s, and finally, to contemporary Warsaw. Part speculative queer family history and part polyphonic sacred encyclopedia, the novel’s central story is interspersed with a body of invented Jewish folklore that, while heavily remixed, is inspired by the stories that raised me and the superstitions that shaped my imagination.” 


Fruchter began her career as a musician and in 2013 turned her creative attention to writing. She received her M.F.A. from the University of Maryland in 2019. Her work has appeared in Tupelo Quarterly, Foglifter, NPR, Brevity, and PANK. In 2020 she received fiction awards from New South and American Literary Review as well as a fellowship from Vermont Studio Center. She says, “I feel a kind of urgency – the most excited and hungry kind – to finish this first book and launch it into the universe. My path has been non-linear, and, as such, I take the hard work and spiritual maintenance of building a writing life very seriously.” 


Fruchter works for an education non-profit and has recently returned to New York City. She will use her Writer’s Award to create time and opportunities outside of her day job to devote more attention to completing her novel.

Excerpt from "Hungry," American Literary Review, March 2020.


"We come in now, grown visitors who bring our own visitors, and we're all trying to remember this into some workable version of home. I look around the table and wonder what Katelyn sees. Papa's big beard, the one that makes him look even more stern and cinematically rabbinic than he is. Mama's broad shoulders, her baubles and her turquoise felt hat. Rivki's short-sleeved floral dress like she's forgotten what season it is, clinging to Jamie, who's dressed out of the fall issue of a J.Crew catalogue, for dear life."

The Rona Jaffe Foundation  //  Supporting Emerging Women Writers since 1995

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