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N.C. News: Carrboro Essayist Krista Bremer Wins $25,000 Rona Jaffe Award

September 2, 2009

Krista Bremer of Carrboro, award-winning essayist and associate publisher of The Sun, has been named as one of six writers honored with a 2009 Rona Jaffe Foundation Award, each of which includes a $25,000 prize. Now in its 15th year, the award program is the only such national program dedicated exclusively to women writers, and the awards are presented annually to women who have demonstrated “excellence and promise in the early stages of their careers.”

Bremer’s essays have appeared in The Sun; Utne; Brain, Child; and Hip Mama, among other publications. Her essay “My Accidental Jihad” won a Pushcart Prize in 2008 and was cited in the Best American Spiritual Writing series.

Her nominator states, “Krista writes with a keen eye for the beauty—and absurdities—of contemporary American culture. Her personal essays explore the dynamics of her marriage to a Libyan-born Muslim man, unearthing the difficulties, triumphs, and transcendence of love in a bicultural family. Krista’s ability to move beyond conventional stereotypes and navigate profound cultural and religious differences is particularly significant.”

The grant will allow Bremer to travel to North Africa, where she will explore family life with a focus on concepts of femininity and freedom for women in Muslim and western cultures. The research is part of a planned book.

Other winners of the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award this year are Vievee Francis, Janice N. Harrington, Lori Ostlund, Helen Phillips, and Heidy Steidlmayer. The awards will be presented September 24, in New York City.

Previous winners have included Judy Budnitz, Lan Samantha Chang, Rebecca Curtis, Rivka Galchen, Frances Hwang, Aryn Kyle, ZZ Packer, Emily Rapp, Tracy K. Smith, Mary Szybist, and Julia Whitty.

For more information, visit the Rona Jaffe Foundation website here.

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