$26.00

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous

Current Stock: 10
UPC: 9780525562023
Author: Ocean Vuong

This title is our June 2019 pick for the UNICORN BOOKCLUB! Find out more here.

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Press (June 4, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525562028
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525562023
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches

Reviews

“An epistolary ­masterpiece…Fearless, revelatory, extraordinary.” — Library Journal (starred review)
 
“[Vuong’s] first foray into fiction is poetic in the deepest sense—not merely on the level of language, but in its structure and its intelligence…The result is an uncategorizable hybrid of what reads like memoir, bildungsroman, and book-length poem. More important than labels, though, is the novel's earnest and open-hearted belief in the necessity of stories and language for our survival. A raw and incandescently written foray into fiction by one of our most gifted poets.” —Kirkus (starred review)

“Casting a truly literary spell, Vuong's tale of language and origin, beauty and the power of story, is an enrapturing first novel.” — Booklist (starred review)

“A bruised, breathtaking love letter never meant to be sent. A powerful testimony to magic and loss. A marvel.” —Marlon James, author of Black Leopard, Red Wolf

“This is one of the best novels I’ve ever read. I always want my favorite poets to write novels and here it’s happened. Ocean Vuong is a master. This book a masterpiece. On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is an ode to loss and struggle, to being a Vietnamese American, to Hartford, Connecticut, and it’s a compassionate epistolary ode to a mother who may or may not know how to read. I dog-eared so many pages the book almost collapsed—I almost did.” 
—Tommy Orange, author of There There
 
On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous will be described — rightlyas luminous, shattering, urgent, necessary. But the word I keep circling back to is raw: that's how powerful the emotions here are, and how you'll feel after reading it – scoured down to bone. With a poet's precision, Ocean Vuong examines whether putting words to one's experience can bridge wounds that span generations, and whether it's ever possible to be truly heard by those we love most.” —Celeste Ng, author of Everything I Never Told You and Little Fires Everywhere
 
“This book—gorgeous is right there in the title—finds incredible, aching beauty in the deep observation of love in many forms. Ocean Vuong's debut novel contains all the power of his poetry, and I finished the book knowing that we are seeing only the very beginning of his truly magnificent talent.” —Emma Straub, author of Modern Lovers and The Vacationers
 
“Ocean Vuong runs up against the limits of language—this book is addressed to a mother who cannot read it—and expands our sense of what literature can make visible, thinkable, felt across borders and generations and genres. This is a courageous, embodied inquiry into the tangle of colonial and personal histories. It is also a gorgeous argument for astonishment over irony—for the transformative possibilities of love.” —Ben Lerner, author of Leaving the Atocha Station and 10:04
 
“One is not often given the chance to apply words like “brilliant” and “remarkable” to any novels, certainly not first novels.  Thank you, Ocean Vuong, for this brilliant and remarkable first novel.” —Michael Cunningham, author of The Hours

Author

Ocean Vuong is the author of the critically acclaimed poetry collection Night Sky with Exit Wounds, winner of the Whiting Award and the T.S. Eliot Prize. His writings have also been featured in The AtlanticHarper'sThe NationNew RepublicThe New Yorker, and The New York Times. Born in Saigon, Vietnam, he currently lives in Northampton, Massachusetts. On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous is his first novel.