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On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous

A Novel

Book - 2019
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"Brilliant, heartbreaking, tender, and highly original - poet Ocean Vuong's debut novel is a sweeping and shattering portrait of a family, and a testament to 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"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, 2019
ISBN: 9780525562023
0525562028
Call Number: F VUONG OC
Characteristics: 246 pages ; 22 cm

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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 par... Read More »

A letter from a son to a mother who cannot read, a letter that unearths a family’s history that began before he was born — a history whose epicenter is rooted in Vietnam.

A title which brought Alexander Chee to tears.

A young man writes a letter to his illiterate mother in an attempt to make sense of his traumatic beginnings. A raw and incandescently written foray into fiction by one of our most gifted poets.


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ANTHONYZEDAN
Oct 10, 2019

"On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous" is a painfully beautiful first novel, a lyrical novel, that takes various forms, a bittersweet love letter to his mother, part memoir, all poetry, a bittersweet love letter to his first love, a treatise on the nature of color and identity in modern America, philosophical observations on the nature of memory, a gay coming of age story told from the shifting perspectives of a child, a teenager and a young adult, we come to know the narrator, "Little Dog" and his rich inner life, and, at times, a brutally honest reportage of the hardships endured by refugees and their children who come in search of the America Dream and come to redefine it. Ocean Vuong is a master craftsman of words and the love, passion and erudition he has comes through in every sentence, simile, comma and period.

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