Abby Frucht


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Midnight -- Peace and passivity -- Fruit of the month -- Engagements -- Paradise -- The anniversary -- Winter -- How to live alone -- Trees at night -- Fate and the poet -- Nuns in love -- The habit of friendship.


This fine debut of twelve stories explores a topography of the interior, probing the thoughts, motivations, and little-understood impulses behind moments of aggression, jealousy, and loneliness. Turning her eye on the academic landscape as well as the workaday world, Frucht keenly observes people forging friendships, groping for greater self-understanding, and attempting to find meaning in their lives and loves.

Whether writing about a couple trying to conceive a much-wanted child or a lonely husband mourning the changing political attitudes of his wife, Frucht brings her characters and their lives into memorable focus. She builds a fictional world that resonates with the immediate and the familiar.

Although many books of contemporary fiction document the ways people often fail to communicate, the essential quality of Abby Frucht's characters is that they do communicate—connect—and gain part of what they want from life as a result. These stories are never about despair without also being about hope. They speak to each other as playfully and accidentally as memories do.

Series Title

Iowa Short Fiction Award

Award Date



Lurie, Alison

Publication Date



University of Iowa Press


Iowa City

Total Pages


ISBN of Print Version



Copyright © 1988 by Abby Frucht. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying or recording, without permission in writing from the publisher.