An author with Bucks County roots has recently been awarded a major literary award following the publication of her latest book.
Violet Kupersmith, an author and former student at Central Bucks High School East in Doylestown, was recently awarded the Bard Fiction Prize for her latest novel, Build Your House Around My Body, published by Random House in 2021. As a result, Kupersmith will be awarded a residency at Bard College during the fall semester of 2023.
A supernatural mystery, the novel takes place in the country of Vietnam, where much of Kupersmith’s family originates from.
“She approaches her subject matter in fresh ways, and the novel’s otherworldly elements are expertly interwoven with the mundane, through an imagination truly rich and strange,” said the Bard Fiction Prize committee. “This novel is sensual, it is visceral, it is outrageously comic.”
After she graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 2011, Kupersmith spent a year teaching English in Tra Vinh, Vietnam, on a Fulbright Fellowship. She resided in Da Lat and Saigon, Vietnam between 2013 and 2015 before she was named the 2015–2016 David T. K. Wong Fellow at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. She is also the recipient of a 2022 fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
“What a staggering honor to be in the company of all the literary luminaries who were previous winners of the award or have called Bard home at some point in their careers,” said Kupersmith. “I am just grateful beyond words to the prize committee for this recognition and for such an extraordinary gift. And I cannot wait to plant myself in this fertile intellectual environment next fall and grow something strange and new.”
Rea more about Kupersmith’s latest book at Bard College.