On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous

A Novel

Large Print - 2019
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Random House, Inc.
Named one of the most anticipated books of 2019 by Vulture, Entertainment Weekly, Buzzfeed, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Oprah.com, Huffington Post, The A.V. Club, Nylon, The Week, The Rumpus, The Millions, The Guardian, Publishers Weekly, and more.

“A lyrical work of self-discovery that’s shockingly intimate and insistently universal…Not so much briefly gorgeous as permanently stunning.” —Ron Charles, The Washington Post

Poet Ocean Vuong’s debut novel is a shattering portrait of a family, a first love, and the redemptive power of storytelling

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read. Written when the speaker, Little Dog, is in his late twenties, the letter unearths a family’s history that began before he was born — a history whose epicenter is rooted in Vietnam — and serves as a doorway into parts of his life his mother has never known, all of it leading to an unforgettable revelation. At once a witness to the fraught yet undeniable love between a single mother and her son, it is also a brutally honest exploration of race, class, and masculinity. Asking questions central to our American moment, immersed as we are in addiction, violence, and trauma, but undergirded by compassion and tenderness, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is as much about the power of telling one’s own story as it is about the obliterating silence of not being heard.

With stunning urgency and grace, Ocean Vuong writes of people caught between disparate worlds, and asks how we heal and rescue one another without forsaking who we are. The question of how to survive, and how to make of it a kind of joy, powers the most important debut novel of many years.

Publisher: New York :, Random House Large Print,, 2019
Edition: First large print edition
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9780593104293
Branch Call Number: LP FIC VUO
Characteristics: 351 pages ;,21 cm.


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DPLjennyp Jul 07, 2019

As the reviewer below said: Stunning. Absolutely stunning.

JCLEmmaF Jun 06, 2019

In short, goodness. Exactly what you expect of Ocean Vuong, which is saturated, stunning writing, and a story that will make you both joyful and devastated. It took me about six months to read Ocean Vuong's first book, of poetry. He writes in a way that leaves me almost exhausted after only a few lines, because they're so loaded and saturated. I could read just a line of his poetry and roll it around my mouth for a week. So when Ocean Vuong writes prose, you read it. But I have to read it faster, because not only are the lines beautiful and loaded and heavy, but also they're driven by character and plot. It's almost overwhelming. But good. So good. This is a small novel, but it's not for the faint of heart, as it follows an immigrant family in the wake of war. Definitely one I'll be buying so I can underline and think around.

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