Fruit of the Month

Cowinner of the 1987 Iowa Short Fiction Award

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176 pages

"A very absorbing book. It might just change your life."—Virginia Quarterly Review

"In Abby Frucht's perceptive short stories, the details of everyday domestic life expand into half-suggested depths of meaning that can transform ordinary situations and relationships into something serious and universal."—Alison Lurie

"Frucht is a talented young writer, and …[her stories'] resonances will linger in the reader's mind."—Publishers Weekly

"An impressive debut"—New York Times Book Review

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.

Table of contents: 



Peace and Passivity

Fruit of the Month



The Anniversary


How to Live Alone

Trees at Night

Fate and the Poet

Nuns in Love

The Habit of Friendship