On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous

A Novel

256 pages

English language

Published Oct. 29, 2020 by Penguin Random House.

ISBN:
9781529110685

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (22 reviews)

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.

7 editions

Review of "On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous" on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

An astonishing beautiful novel written by a poet, which takes the form of a fictional memoir, covering the main character’s gay coming-of-age story braided in with his mother’s and grandmother’s lives in Vietnam before and during the war, which is ultimately about what it means to be alive. It won’t be for everyone, but I loved it. One of the best books I’ve read in the past 5 years.

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Subjects

  • Fiction, coming of age
  • Mothers and sons, fiction
  • Fiction, cultural heritage

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