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Build Your House Around My Body (Hardcover)
Not Yet Published
A time-traveling novel that brings a century of Vietnam's history and folklore to life, from an author whose work has been called "magical" (San Francisco Chronicle), "playful" (The New York Times Book Review), and "wise" (Chicago Tribune) In 1986, the teenage daughter of a wealthy family gets lost in an abandoned rubber plantation while fleeing her angry father and is changed forever. In 2009, a woman captures a rare two-headed cobra as part of a dangerous money-making scheme with a former lover. And in 2011, a young, unhappy American living in Saigon with her sort-of boyfriend disappears without a trace. Over the course of the novel, the fates of these three women will lock together in an exhilarating series of nested narratives. Along the way, we meet a young boy who is sent to a boarding school in the mountains for the m tis children of French expatriates, just before Vietnam declares its independence from colonial rule in 1945; two Frenchmen who are trying to start a business with the Vietnam War on the horizon; and the employees of the Saigon Spirit Eradication Co., who find themselves investigating strange occurrences in a farmhouse on the edge of a forest. Each new character and timeline brings us one step closer to understanding what binds them all. Part puzzle, part revenge tale, part ghost story, this book takes us from colonial mansions to ramshackle zoos, from sweaty nightclubs to the jostling seats of motorbikes, from ex-pat flats to sizzling back-alley street carts. Spanning more than fifty years and barreling toward an unforgettable conclusion, this is a fever dream of a novel about possessed bodies and possessed lands, a time-traveling, heart-pounding, border-crossing marvel that will haunt you long after the last page.
About the Author
Violet Kupersmith is the author of the short story collection The Frangipani Hotel. She previously taught English with the Fulbright program in the Mekong Delta and was a creative writing fellow at the University of East Anglia. She has lived in Da Lat and Saigon in Vietnam, and currently resides in the United States.