On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous
Find your local library.
Buy this book from hive.co.uk Books to support The Reading Agency and local bookshops at no additional cost to you.
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 epicentre 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 the American moment, immersed as it is 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.
Absolutely loved everything about this gorgeous novel from the elegant and eloquent prose to the tender and brutal story that is apparently based on the author's own life and that of his mother and grandmother as they come through the Vietnam/US war and finally to settle in the the US. There is a frankness that is sometimes disarming, but the gentleness of the author always comes through. A very thoughtful and thought provoking book and so beautifully written. Highly recommended .