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Violet Kupersmith

Violet Kupersmith was born in rural central Pennsylvania in 1989 and later moved with her family to the Philadelphia suburbs. Her father is Caucasian-American and her mother is from Da Nang, Vietnam. Her mother’s family fled the country by boat following the communist takeover of Saigon in 1975. Her parents met in Houston, Texas, where her father was a librarian and her mother was living in a convent. Violet attended Mount Holyoke College, where she injured herself many times playing rugby and began writing the ghost stories that would eventually become The Frangipani Hotel. She graduated summa cum laude from Mount Holyoke in 2011 and then spent a year teaching English in Tra Vinh, Vietnam, on a Fulbright Fellowship. When she was not having misadventures involving eating grilled reptiles, driving a motorbike through the Mekong Delta wilderness, or accidentally winning a dance competition at a coconut festival, Violet began exploring local folklore and belief in spiritualism. In 2013 she lived in the cities of Nha Trang and Da Lat, where she continued to research and write about ghosts.

The Frangipani Hotel: Kupersmith’s fluid and precise prose rises to moments of beauty

The Frangipani Hotel  by Violet Kupersmith

[In our Edge of the Universe column, we review mainstream authors that incorporate elements of speculative fiction into their “literary” work. However you want to label them, we hope you’ll enjoy discussing these books with us.]

While I found most of the stories in Violet Kupersmith’s The Frangipani Hotel to be solidly engaging, I can’t say any of them struck me with any particular weight. They were amiable enough, and several of them had some beautiful passages of description or some sharply defined moments of characterization, and a few have a deliciously creepy supernatural element, but as much as I was mildly enjoying myself, I kept waiting for one to grab me wholly. Unfortunately, none did.

The first, ... Read More