On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous (Paperback)Ocean Vuong (author)
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Framed as a letter from a young Vietnamese man to his illiterate mother, Vuong's radiant debut novel traces themes of race, class and colonialism across decades of South East Asian history, building to a breathtaking final revelation.
Waterstones Fiction Book of the Month for September 2020
Shortlisted for the Swansea University International Dylan Thomas Prize 2020
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.
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.
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 181 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 129 mm
'A marvel.' - Marlon James
'A masterpiece.' - Max Porter
'Luminous, shattering, urgent, necessary.' - Celeste Ng
'Deeply moving... Little Dog's story is the story of modern America.' - Daily Telegraph
'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
'A stunning, beautiful book... His writing is phenomenal... Simply brilliant.' - BBC Radio 4 Saturday Review
'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
'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
'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
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“Tender and raw...”
Sometimes you read a book which hits you in the solar plexus, in every sense powerful raw and full of emotion. Ocean Vuong’s debut novel is one of them. You can see how he is far and away an award winning poet which... More
“I'm unashamed to say that I have fallen in love with a piece of writing.”
I was told by my colleagues that this would be the best book I read this year. What I didn't anticipate, is that it would become my favourite book of all time. I was unaware of how hungry I was for this... More
“An extraordinary and original debut”
Every so often a book comes along that takes your breath away with the sheer beauty of its language, and the fierce intellect behind it. On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous is one of those books.
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