An extraordinarily compelling debut—ghost stories that grapple with the legacy of the Vietnam War
A beautiful young woman appears fully dressed in an overflowing bathtub at the Frangipani Hotel in Hanoi. A jaded teenage girl in Houston befriends an older Vietnamese gentleman she discovers naked behind a dumpster. A plump Vietnamese-American teenager is sent to her elderly grandmother in Ho Chi Minh City to lose weight, only to be lured out of the house by the wafting aroma of freshly baked bread. In these evocative and always surprising stories, the supernatural coexists with the mundane lives of characters who struggle against the burdens of the past.
Based on traditional Vietnamese folk tales told to Kupersmith by her grandmother, these fantastical, chilling, and thoroughly contemporary stories are a boldly original exploration of Vietnamese culture, addressing both the immigrant experience and the lives of those who remained behind. Lurking in the background of them all is a larger ghost—that of the Vietnam War, whose legacy continues to haunt us.
When I agreed to join the tour for this book I wasn’t sure what to expect. Vietnamese ghost stories with a modern twist? I was intrigued, to say the least.
I can’t tell you how pleased I am that I read this book. Every story was more alluring than the last. Every story was more surprising than the last. Just when I thought I had the twists figured out Kupersmith would astonish me again. The blend of supernatural tales and Vietnamese culture was haunting and lovely.
The stories in The Frangipani Hotel are both beautiful and eerie. This collection is not to be missed.
TLC Book Tours and Spiegel & Grau have been kind enough to offer a copy of The Frangipani Hotel for a giveaway to one reader from the United States. Good luck!