Internationally acclaimed poet Ocean Vuong reflects on his writing life and debut novel, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous.
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. Now the author brings his poetic precision to his first work of fiction, written in the form of a letter to a mother who cannot read. The letter traces a family history back from present day America to Vietnam, and bears witness to the love between a single mother and her son, while offering a brutally honest exploration of race, class and masculinity in contemporary America. It is both a testament to the power of storytelling and an elegy to those confined to the margins of history.
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.