If I Had Two Lives

A Novel

If I Had Two Lives follows a young girl from her childhood in a military camp in 1990s Vietnam, where her mother is in hiding as a political dissident, to her adulthood as a lonely and disillusioned immigrant in New York, where she must learn what it means to love and be loved, and to reconfigure home in the aftermath of ruins.

The novel is forthcoming in the U.S, UK, and Italy from Europa Editions and Edizioni/Eo on April 9th 2019.

Preorder now from your favorite bookstore


Praise for If I Had Two Lives

“A stunning, totally original tale told by a masterful storyteller. Abbigail Rosewood captures so much nuance and tackles the heaviest topics with a light, magical touch. There is great talent on display here.”Yelena Akhtiorskaya, author of Panic in a Suitcase

“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 The Book of Numbers and Moving Kings

“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 and The Sky Below

“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

“If I had Two Lives is the perfect novel of dislocation; a piercing and almost hallucinatory portrait of what occurs when one abandons one life, by choice, by force, or by circumstance, and is thrust into an unknown landscape. I was especially struck by Rosewood’s insights into the Vietnamese/American splits in our North American psyche, and the way her story so movingly dramatizes these splits, and in the end welds them back together, is absolutely brilliant. With this extraordinary, artfully constructed and beautifully written debut, Abbigail N. 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. Abbigail Rosewood has expanded my worldview through vividly depicted characters that I will long remember. This is a remarkable achievement.”Alan Ziegler, Author of The Swan Song of Vaudeville

Bookseller praise:

“It isn't often that you read a book where you are so merged with the main character that it feels like you are actually experiencing her life. Abbigail Rosewood has created a reading experience that is heartbreaking, emotionally challenging, eye opening, insightful and beautiful.”Laura Parsons, Island Bound Bookstore

“Abbigail's sparely told novel of dislocation, identity, and belonging, both geopolitical and familial, is achingly beautiful . The story of an emotionally unavailable mother and the complexities of friendships among the disenfranchised strike universal notes. I loved this book!”Kris Kleindiest, Left Bank Books

“If I Had Two Lives is a captivating read and would make an excellent book club selection.”Caitlin Luce Baker, Mercer Island Books

“If I Had Two Lives asks some potent questions. What is the best way to love another being? What defines a family? How do our earliest alliances direct us throughout life? In elegant prose this powerful novel follows the journey of a Vietnamese girl growing to adolescence in a military camp, her solitary immigration to America and her ultimate trip back to Vietnam. Read this debut for unforgettable lessons in kinship.”Nancy Scheemaker, Northshire Books

“Cannot stop thinking about the mother and daughter in Rosewood’s novel . . . This book is tailor-made for book clubs or anyone in need of stepping into another’s shoes, particularly two Vietnamese women.”Sarah Bagby, Watermark Books