Violet who? 

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.

A small cross section of the family. Violet is the camera-shy child in red pants.

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. Posts from her infrequently-updated Vietnam blog can be found, along with more assorted book and writing news, here.

Violet was a January 2014 fellow at the MacDowell Colony, and the 2015-2016 David T. K. Wong Fellow at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. She is currently working on a novel. 

Photo © Sarah Penniman

Photo © Sarah Penniman