On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous
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On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous

4.05 (47,955 ratings by Goodreads)
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** The Sunday Times and New York Times Bestseller **

Brilliant, heartbreaking and highly original, Ocean Vuong's debut novel is a shattering portrait of a family, and a testament to the redemptive power of storytelling.

'A marvel' MARLON JAMES

This 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. It tells of Vietnam, of the lasting impact of war, and of his family's struggle to forge a new future. And it serves as a doorway into parts of Little Dog's life his mother has never known - episodes of bewilderment, fear and passion - all the while moving closer to an unforgettable revelation.

'A masterpiece'
MAX PORTER

'Luminous, shattering, urgent, necessary'
CELESTE NG

'Deeply moving... Little Dog's story is the story of modern America'
Daily Telegraph

'Vuong has originality running through his veins'
The Times

SHORTLISTED FOR THE INTERNATIONAL DYLAN THOMAS PRIZE 2020
FINALIST FOR THE PEN/FAULKNER AWARD 2020
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Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 16mm | 181g
  • VINTAGE
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1529110688
  • 9781529110685
  • 4,430

Review Text

Vuong is surely a literary descendant of the author of Leaves of Grass. Emerging from the most marginalized circumstances, he has produced a lyrical work of self-discovery that’s shockingly intimate and insistently universal… Not so much briefly gorgeous as permanently stunning.
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Review quote

Ocean Vuong's On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous confirms him as a master of inventive language that has its roots in the spoken word but reaches shimmering heights of lyricism, too. -- Joseph O'Connor * Sunday Independent *Books of the Year* * Vuong is surely a literary descendant of the author of Leaves of Grass. Emerging from the most marginalized circumstances, he has produced a lyrical work of self-discovery that's shockingly intimate and insistently universal... Not so much briefly gorgeous as permanently stunning. -- Ron Charles * Washington Post * This is some of the most moving writing I've read... The tenderness of the prose feels like a triumph against a world hellbent on embittering the tenderhearted... the truths arrived at in this book are valuable precisely because they are steeped in feeling. * New York Times * A stunning, beautiful book... His writing is phenomenal... Simply brilliant. * BBC Radio 4 Saturday Review * Everything is beautiful in this debut... Vuong has originality running through his veins, and a good deal of humour and impish charm... This impressive debut hints at even greater things to come. * The Times *
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About Ocean Vuong

Ocean Vuong was a Ruth Lilly fellow and winner of a Pushcart Prize, and has received honours and awards from Poets House and the Academy of American Poets. Night Sky with Exit Wounds won the 2016 Whiting Award in the States, and the 2017 Forward Prize for Best First Collection and the T.S. Eliot Prize in the UK. He teaches at Amherst College, Massachusetts.
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Rating details

47,955 ratings
4.05 out of 5 stars
5 39% (18,832)
4 36% (17,082)
3 18% (8,834)
2 5% (2,427)
1 2% (780)
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