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Build Your House Around My Body


1986: The teenage daughter of a wealthy Vietnamese family gets lost in an abandoned rubber plantation while fleeing her angry father, and is forever changed by the experience.

2011: Twenty-five years later, a young, unhappy American named Winnie disappears from her new home in Saigon without a trace.

The fates of these two women are inescapably linked, bound together by past generations, by ghosts and ancestors, by the history of possessed bodies and possessed lands. Barrelling through the sweaty nightclubs of Saigon to ramshackle zoos, colonial mansions and haunted forests, Violet Kupersmith's heart-pounding fever dream of a novel deftly combines Vietnamese history and folklore to create an immersive, playful, utterly unforgettable debut.

  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications (July 29, 2021)
  • Length: 400 pages
  • ISBN13: 9780861541003

Praise for The Frangipani Hotel:

'[A] subversively clever debut collection... These stories – playful, angry, at times legitimately scary – demonstrate a subtlety of purpose that belies [Kupersmith's] youth.'

– New York Times Book Review

'In this auspicious volume, Kupersmith has reshaped and womanhandled traditional Vietnamese folktales that her grandmother told her into a wildly energetic, present-tense fusillade of short stories.'

– Elle