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This luminous debut novel follows a young woman from her childhood in Vietnam to her life as an immigrant in the United States – and her necessary return to her homeland.
As a child, isolated from the world in a secretive military encampment with her distant mother, she turns for affection to a sympathetic soldier and to the only other girl in the camp, forming two friendships that will shape the rest of her life.
As a young adult in New York, cut off from her native country and haunted by the scars of her youth, she is still in search of a home. She falls in love with a married woman who is the image of her childhood friend, and follows strangers because they remind her of her soldier. When tragedy arises, she must return to Vietnam to confront the memories of her youth – and recover her identity.
An inspiring meditation on love, loss, and the presence of a past that never dies, the novel explores the ancient question: do we value the people in our lives because of who they are, or because of what we need them to be?
Praise for If I Had Two Lives
"In this wise and lyrical debut, Abbigail Rosewood maps journeys through countries and journeys through the psyche in powerful, sensual detail. Every sentence is transporting, in all senses of the word. A gorgeous and resonant novel.” —Stacey D’Erasmo, author of Wonderland
"To come to America is to come of age: this is what Abbigail Rosewood reminds us, in prose of an almost ruthless compassion." —Joshua Cohen, author of Witz and The Book of Numbers
“A harrowing, wondrously constructed story of childhood and a brilliant meditation on how life is lived today.” —Gary Shteyngart, author of Super Sad True Love Story and Little Failure
“A stunning, totally original tale told by a masterful storyteller. Abbigail Rosewood tackles the heaviest topics with a light, magical touch. There is great talent on display here.” —Yelena Akhtiorskaya, author of Panic in a Suitcase
“The perfect novel of dislocation. With this extraordinary, artfully constructed and beautifully written debut, Abbigail Rosewood takes her place among the very best of the new wave of Asian-American authors.” —James Cañón, author of Tales from the Town of Widows
“A highly evolved, engrossing, and moving novel with vividly depicted characters that I will long remember. This is a remarkable achievement.” —Alan Ziegler, author of Short and The Swan Song of Vaudeville
Marketing & Publicity
• Winter Institute 2019 author reception, reps picks + bookseller dinner
• BEA Promotion • Metadata tune-up + Author pages on Amazon/Goodreads
• Social media outreach and influencer campaign (author is active across platforms)
• Galley available
• E-galley available on Edelweiss + NetGalley
• USA + CAN Top Europa indie stores mailing with letter • Bookseller blurbs
• Ecards and banners
• Finished copy pre-pub giveaway to readers
• Placement for original pieces by the author around publication date
• Major media campaign
• Targeted outreach to media with immigration, political, feminist focus
• AAWW event and outreach to Asian American literary community and Vietnamese-American communities (West Coast, Texas, NY, Virginia/Washington DC)