Saturday 23 July 2022

Quick notice: Abbigail Nguyen Rosewood’s Constellations of Eve

Abbigail Nguyen Rosewood is a Vietnamese and American author. After having spent 20 years in the U.S, she is now a reversed immigrant living in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. She has written for TIME Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, Salon, Cosmopolitan, Lit Hub, Electric Lit,  and others. Her first novel, If I Had Two Lives, is published by Europa Editions.  Her second novel Constellations of Eve is the inaugural title from DVAN/TTUP, a publishing imprint founded by Isabelle Thuy Pelaud, and Pulitzer winner Viet Thanh Nguyen to promote Vietnamese American literature.

Isabelle Thuy Pelaud, author of This is All I Choose to Tell: History and Hybridity in Vietnamese American Literature says: “Abbigail Nguyen Rosewood’s Constellations of Eve keeps readers in awe of what just had happened to them as they read this dark, torturous, and passionate modern love story that defies what may be expected of an Asian American woman writer. A real literary jewel, where hope for true and restful love is unexpectedly lost and found.”

Constellations of Eve wrestles with our most intimate intentions and lays bare the cost of all-consuming love across multiple lifetimes. It is a philosophical tale exploring three realities, and one story.  As Eve’s life shifts and reshapes, she must strive to unearth the same thing she’s always sought: wholeness.

In most of her alternative lives, Eve is married to Liam.  She negotiates various roles - mother-artist-friend-lover - and through obsession, grief, and the illusion of having it all,  she navigates the infinitesimal moments that shape us all, keenly riding the pitches and contours of her volatile life. Constellations of Eve paints an artistic world, one of love and despair, where our decisions - however well attuned - can create wholly unexpected outcomes.

In conversation with the Southampton Review, Abbigail Nguyen Rosewood said: “My upbringing and education in Eastern tradition gives me something tremendous: the idea of the eternal, the circularity of soul migrations, love’s power to transcend time and space.” This prompts the question, to what extent her characters Eve and Liam are shaped by these beliefs of soul migration and of transcendent love?

Abbigail says: "Beyond the characters, my novel is completely shaped by the notion that love transcends time and space. Perhaps because of my upbringing and early education in certain Buddhist sects, I feel inclined to associate romantic love with spirituality. I still want to believe that people who are supposed to find each other, will, whether in this lifetime or the next. Or perhaps they have already met before, as crickets, or dinosaurs. On the other hand, I’ve also seen how romanticism ruins relationships. The idea that someone is meant for you might make partners feel exempt from having to work on love. So, in some ways, the novel titters on this tension between the fable/eternal and the real. I can say this: my writing this book was a labor of love in the sense that it was my way of holding together my relationship with my husband."

DETAILS: ISBN: 978-1-913007-18-8 // Platypus catalogue number: PP0039 // Release date: August 11th, 2022 // Published in paperback, priced in local currencies.