Bard Fiction Prize Winner Violet Kupersmith to Give Reading on September 18ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—Violet Kupersmith, Bard Fiction Prize winner and writer in residence at Bard College, will read from recent work on Monday, September 18. The reading begins at 6:30 pm and will be held in the Reem-Kayden Center’s László Z. Bitó ’60 Auditorium at Bard College. This event is free and open to the public. For more information call 845-758-7087.
Kupersmith has received the Bard Fiction Prize for her first novel, Build Your House Around My Body (Random House 2021). Kupersmith is in residence at Bard College for the fall 2023 semester, during which time she will continue her writing and meet informally with students.
“Violet Kupersmith’s Build Your House Around My Body never ceases to surprise, as it intertwines disparate time periods, locations, and cultures, not to mention realities, and its sentences are worlds in themselves,” writes the Bard Fiction Prize committee. “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. This novel is sensual, it is visceral, it is outrageously comic. By turns, Kupersmith makes you squeamish with distaste, shivery with terror, giddy with laughter, awestruck by beauty, and warmed by unexpected tenderness. She always makes you marvel at her inventiveness, enticing you to solve the novel’s central mysteries, as she elicits the widest range of sensations possible. She is a writer of astonishing perspicacity and fluidity of language, and succumbing to her magic is a risk no reader should hesitate to take.”
“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.”
Violet Kupersmith was born in central Pennsylvania in 1989 and later moved with her family to the Philadelphia suburbs. Her father is a white American and her mother is from Da Nang, Vietnam. Her mother’s family fled the country by boat following the fall of Saigon in 1975, and were resettled in Port Arthur, Texas. After graduating from Mount Holyoke College in 2011, Violet spent a year teaching English in Tra Vinh, Vietnam, on a Fulbright Fellowship. Between 2013 and 2015, she lived in Da Lat and Saigon, Vietnam. She was the 2015–2016 David T. K. Wong Fellow at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, and is the recipient of a 2022 fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her short story collection The Frangipani Hotel was published by Spiegel & Grau in 2014. violetkupersmith.com
#About Bard College
Founded in 1860, Bard College is a four-year, residential college of the liberal arts and sciences located 90 miles north of New York City. With the addition of the Montgomery Place estate, Bard’s campus consists of nearly 1,000 parklike acres in the Hudson River Valley. It offers bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, and bachelor of music degrees, with majors in more than 40 academic programs; graduate degrees in 13 programs; eight early colleges; and numerous dual-degree programs nationally and internationally. Building on its 163-year history as a competitive and innovative undergraduate institution, Bard College has expanded its mission as a private institution acting in the public interest across the country and around the world to meet broader student needs and increase access to liberal arts education. The undergraduate program at our main campus in upstate New York has a reputation for scholarly excellence, a focus on the arts, and civic engagement. Bard is committed to enriching culture, public life, and democratic discourse by training tomorrow’s thought leaders. For more information about Bard College, visit bard.edu.
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