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Publisher Description

An instant New York Times Bestseller! 

Longlisted for the 2019 National Book Award for Fiction, the Carnegie Medal in Fiction, the 2019 Aspen Words Literacy Prize, and the PEN/Hemingway Debut Novel Award

Shortlisted for the 2019 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize 

Winner of the 2019 New England Book Award for Fiction! 

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.

Named a Best Book of the Year by: 
GQ, Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, Library Journal, TIME, Esquire, The Washington Post, Apple, Good Housekeeping, The New Yorker, The New York Public Library, Elle.com, The Guardian, The A.V. Club, NPR, Lithub, Entertainment Weekly, Vogue.com, The San Francisco Chronicle, Mother Jones, Vanity Fair, The Wall Street Journal Magazine and more! 

GENRE
Fiction & Literature
RELEASED
2019
June 4
LANGUAGE
EN
English
LENGTH
256
Pages
PUBLISHER
Penguin Publishing Group
SELLER
PENGUIN GROUP USA, INC.
SIZE
1.8
MB

Customer Reviews

Richard Bakare ,

Indescribably Brilliant

Wow, just wow. Ocean Voung unleashed a tidal wave of poeticized story telling and imagery. He shows a mastery of language that both demonstrates its power to bring life to the singularity of the human experience, and at the same time how it is not enough to capture all that we are perfectly. His style with the pregnant pauses between scenes, allows him to fully put all the heaviness of his life on the reader but allow moments to breath. Recollecting yourself, only to plunge down deeper into beauty and tragedy. I heard the would be adapting this novel into a film, I can’t imagine how they will preserve the richness and density of the language that he packed into every sentence.

ninaboss56 ,

Wonderful

I have never read a book that made me feel like this one has. I have not lived this life, but I can feel it. Thank you Ocean.

ArtsAndSciences ,

Poignant, harrowing, raw.

Poetry at its most introspective. The human condition ripped open.

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