Home Feed
Home
Search
Search
Add Review, Blurb, Quote
Add
Activity
Activity
Profile
Profile
On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous
On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous | Ocean Vuong
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 On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous 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 – a history whose epicentre is rooted in Vietnam – and serves as a doorway into parts of his life his mother has never known, all of it leading to an unforgettable revelation. At once a witness to the fraught yet undeniable love between a single mother and her son, it is also a brutally honest exploration of race, class, and masculinity. Asking questions central to the American moment, immersed as it is in addiction, violence, and trauma, but undergirded by compassion and tenderness, On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous is as much about the power of telling one's own story as it is about the obliterating silence of not being heard. 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.
Amazon Indiebound Barnes and Noble WorldCat Goodreads LibraryThing
Pick icon
100%
review
ReadingEnvy
post image
Pickpick

I knew this book would have an emotional wallop so I held off for a while. It's clear Ocean Vuong is pulling on his own experience in this novel, because it shares some of the sentiments and emotions I experienced in his poetry collection, Night Sky with Exit Wounds. (The pink background is connected to a scene in the novel.)
⤵️

ReadingEnvy Oh how I love when a poet writes essays or novels. The language is powerful, the way some pieces are linear but others return to themes and core experiences is very moving. It starts out speaking to the violence in families, looks at language and belonging, moves to sexuality and connection, all through the narration of "Little Dog" in a letter to his mama, one he doesn't believe she will ever read, so he can be honest. ⤵️
6h
ReadingEnvy I find some parallels with The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen, in the sense that they both used fiction to explore their experiences leaving Vietnam and coming of age in America, but Nguyen's exploration is topical and political while Vuong explores the heart and mind. Both look at memory but the two novels are so very different. 6h
52 likes4 stack adds2 comments
blurb
Skyrimir
post image

Book mail! I have a few books I have to finish then I‘m diving into these!

blurb
ReadingEnvy
post image

#weekendreads @rachelsbrittain

1. On Earth You're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
2. Condomnauts by Yoss and Passing Strange by Ellen Klages
3. Making beaten biscuits as mentioned in Gone with the Wind!

quote
decembersveryown
post image

“The time I tried to teach you to read the way Mrs. Callahan taught me...that act (a son teaching his mother) reversed our hierarchies, and with it our identities, which, in this country, were already tenuous and tethered.”

This book is so tender, so special. I‘m afraid to read it too quickly but bc it‘s a library book, I have just a few days left before I return it. I will most definitely buy a copy but also likely, I‘ll just return it late...

4 likes1 stack add
quote
ReadingEnvy
post image

Lindy 💔 2d
DivineDiana 😲 2d
See All 12 Comments
readordierachel Can see this won't be an easy read 💔 2d
ReadingEnvy @readordierachel @Cathythoughts @lindy heartbreaking but somewhat insightful I thought 2d
ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled Can‘t wait to start this one! 2d
ReadingEnvy @readordierachel @Cathythoughts @Lindy I was pointed to the audio excerpt read by the author and it's near this quote. It's so emotional, wow. https://m.soundcloud.com/penguin-audio/on-earth-were-briefly-gorgeous 6h
Lindy @ReadingEnvy Thanks for the link to the audio clip. It sounds like his poetry collection. 6h
ReadingEnvy @Lindy There are moments in the novel that explicitly reference the poems... It makes it feel very much like a memoir 6h
Lindy @ReadingEnvy Lightly fictionalized autobiography has been increasingly popular in the past 5 or more years. 6h
ReadingEnvy @Lindy it's my favorite subgenre 6h
readordierachel His voice is mesmerizing 3h
51 likes1 stack add12 comments
blurb
DannyOlda
post image

Just got my first #boxwalla book box and I feel like these picks are totally perfect for me. Hopefully, I still feel that way after I read them but I'm pretty confident.

blurb
TheBookstorePodcast
post image

Okay, it seems like everyone is talking about this book, so while traveling for work I stopped by an indie bookstore to buy it. Because if I‘m paying list price for a hardcover, I want to buy it from an indie. I‘m so excited to read it, but I have 3 books checked out from the library. Such is my life. -Becca

29 likes1 stack add
review
GerardtheBookworm
post image
Pickpick

I can't tell you how beautiful this book is. Combining poetry with breathtaking prose, the novel is told through the narratives of Little Dog and his mother. Vietnamese refugees, both characters struggle with their own separate identities in regards to family, war trauma, PTSD, culture, love, and sexuality. Highly recommended.

Theaelizabet Can‘t wait to get to this! 5d
melethils Reading now, enjoying it. 5d
7 likes2 comments
review
Penny_LiteraryHoarders
post image
Pickpick

Gorgeous writing. No extra embellishment needed just piercing and stunning use of language/words.

46 likes5 stack adds
blurb
Nutmegnc
post image

There is a superb interview with the author in The Paris Review. https://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2019/06/05/survival-as-a-creative-force-an-i...

Nutmegnc Vuong says: “Maybe I‘m being naive, but I understand genres to be as fluid as genders. Our lives are full of restrictions—jobs, bills, time, gravity, all of this impinging on us—but to write is to gift yourself the freedom of choice and possibility. “ 1w
18 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
theshrinkette
post image
Pickpick

I don't remember the last book I read that's so perfectly my wheelhouse. Evocative writing. Heartbreaking confessional.

34 likes2 stack adds
quote
Penny_LiteraryHoarders
post image

"He was only nine but had already mastered the dialect of damaged American fathers." (After being told to speak English and to look at him when he was talking, on the bus to school)

erzascarletbookgasm Look forward to your thoughts, it‘s on my radar 😊 1w
38 likes2 stack adds2 comments
blurb
Davor
post image

I've been patiently waiting for the release of this book for over a month. I have high expectations, I'm so excited to get into it. Hope it doesn't disappoint.

TrishB I‘ve got my eye on this! Look forward to your review. 1w
erzascarletbookgasm This has been on my radar too. 1w
chapter_fifty2017 Yes have heard a lot about it ! Looking forward to your review👍 1w
24 likes4 stack adds3 comments
review
underground_bks
post image
Pickpick

A son writes a letter to his illiterate mother, and beauty and trauma rushes out in poetry. There are times when this poet-written novel perhaps veers too far into poetry, into abstraction I should say, but it doesn‘t detract too much from the brilliance of this book—its best lines still awe. This is a visceral and soaring meditation on generational trauma, sexuality, the written word, and the bond between mother and child, a groundbreaking work.

15 likes3 stack adds
blurb
shaynarae
post image

My Pride month #tbr 🏳️‍🌈📚

quote
moarbookspleaze
post image

blurb
KarenUK
post image

#bookhaul 📚💕 from today at work, because it‘s Bookseller Appreciation week and we get extra discounts! Woo hoo! 🎉
(The new Lily Pulitzer planners arrived today too, so I just had to get a new one...)

LeahBergen Loved The Brontës Went To Woolworths. ? 2w
KarenUK This may have been a #blameitonleah purchase! 😉💕 @LeahBergen (edited) 2w
TrishB I‘m really wanting the tagged one! 2w
cathysaid ❤️❤️❤️ NYRB 2w
56 likes4 comments
blurb
Liberty
post image

?IT‘S NEW BOOK DAY!? Here are some of today‘s new books! There are several more out today that I am excited about, including Peter and Ned's Ultimate Travel Journal by Preeti Chhibber, Why My Cat Is More Impressive Than Your Baby by The Oatmeal, No Friend But the Mountains by Behrouz Boochani, Five Midnights by Ann Dávila Cardinal, Among the Lost by Emiliano Monge, and Underland by Robert Macfarlane. What are you excited to read? ?❤️?

AmyG I can‘t wait to read City of Girls. (edited) 2w
ephemeralwaltz Dying to read Ocean Vuong. 2w
TheLibrarian Magic for Liars and Mostly Dead Things! I enjoyed Searching for Sylvie Lee. 2w
See All 7 Comments
OnlyYoo I started reading East of Eden and I‘m loving it so much! Can‘t wait to finish 2w
OnlyYoo Just started East of Eden and I‘m loving it! Can‘t wait to finish 😁 2w
Davor I can't wait to get to On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous! 2w
101 likes1 stack add7 comments
blurb
Nutmegnc
post image

Jason Reynolds says it‘s amazing. As does NYT and many others. One reviewer said it‘s “permanently stunning”. I‘m def gonna check this one out when it drops tomorrow!! Learn more at www.oceanvuong.com

18 likes3 stack adds1 comment
review
BeckyMerilatt
post image
Mehso-so

There were parts of this that I liked a lot, and there were other parts that dragged a bit. It didn‘t blow me away. Full disclosure - I struggle to find the patience I need for poetry. This is a very poetic novel.

review
Cydster61
post image
Pickpick

This is a stunner

4 likes1 stack add
blurb
Hooked_on_books
post image

Because I shop so much at my local indie, 🤦🏼‍♀️ they let me in the back room to take as many ARCs as I wanted!!! 😮🤪👏🏼🎉 I‘m so excited. I bought the bottom three because, of course. 😬

@Soubhiville , I grabbed Daisy Jones for you—it‘ll be on the way shortly.

Lovesbooks87 Daisy Jones was amazing! 3mo
MicheleinPhilly WOW! That‘s a really impressive haul! 3mo
Soubhiville Oh my gosh you are so sweet! Thank you! When you get to Hawaii you‘ll have some work to do buttering up your new bookshop staff! 3mo
See All 15 Comments
Soubhiville Also, what a great collection of titles! 3mo
irre Wow! Awesome!! 3mo
TheBookStacker Dang that‘s so awesome! What a great haul! 3mo
Nute What a great relationship? It‘s neat that it‘s reciprocated! 3mo
Reagan-reads 😮 I am unbelievably jealous. 3mo
EKonrad Jealous! 😊😊😊 3mo
wordzie 🎉So 😎 3mo
Hooked_on_books @wordzie @EKonrad @Reagan-reads @Nute @TheBookStacker @irre @MicheleinPhilly I can‘t even express it—it was like my birthday and Christmas all rolled in one. They know how to treat customers! 3mo
Hooked_on_books @Soubhiville You‘re so welcome! I‘ve already scoped out the bookstore situation there (of course) and I‘m pretty sure I know which one I‘ll be shopping at. 😆 I had so much fun picking these out! I kept gasping at new titles. 😂 3mo
Christine Whoa!! Amazing stack! 3mo
LeahBergen I preordered The Trial of Lizzie Borden 👍🏻 3mo
Tamra I want to read Cast a Shadow! Lucky you..... 3mo
79 likes15 comments
blurb
RealLifeReading
post image

Love lists like these. Although my TBR list is suffering. Also isn‘t the tagged book title just gorgeous?

https://www.powells.com/post/lists/we-cant-wait-the-best-reads-of-2019

CaliforniaCay I wonder how one becomes a book buyer? That sounds like it would be a dream job 😍 4mo
RealLifeReading Definitely a dream job! 4mo
89 likes2 comments
blurb
RealLifeReading
post image

Love lists like these. Although my TBR list is suffering. Also isn‘t the tagged book title just lovely?

https://www.powells.com/post/lists/we-cant-wait-the-best-reads-of-2019

Emilymdxn OMG. Ocean Vuong wrote a novel?? Can‘t wait! 4mo
TrishB @Emilymdxn my first thought! 4mo
54 likes1 stack add2 comments
review
CaptainMatt
post image
Pickpick

“Let me begin again...”
.
This is a story of survival. Little Dog writes a letter to his mother, a refugee who cannot read. This is a story of addiction and violence, race and sexuality, love and expression. This is Little Dog‘s confession, a family history, and an examination of language as both a barrier and a bridge.
.
And I am floored. I didn‘t want it to end, yet couldn‘t stop myself from consuming it all so quickly!

6 likes2 stack adds
review
nycbookboi
post image
Pickpick

I know, I know, it‘s incredibly overdue, but trust me, you want to savor every single word of this book. Literally the best kick off for 2019.

All parts beauty and a work on identity. Much like Alexander Chee, ON EARTH WE‘RE BRIEFLY GORGEOUS portrays incredible amounts of terrible, haunting images and paints them with beauty, love, and sexuality. It‘s art at its finest, and writing like none other.

11 likes1 stack add
blurb
Liberty
post image

I love New Year‘s Day, because it means I start a whole new reading log, and I get to pick the first book I‘m going to read. Choosing my first read of a new year might be my favorite part of the holidays! Do you select a specific book to start off a new year of reading? I spent the morning deciding on mine - I picked the book tagged for this post! 📚🎉❤️

Cinfhen Sounds like the perfect read to start your new year🙌🏻Happy 2019 @Liberty 6mo
AceOnRoam Happy New Year 🍾🍾🍾 6mo
See All 12 Comments
Soubhiville This sounds beautiful! I love a new reading year too 😊. I haven‘t decided for sure yet what to read first, but I have my A and B authors and titles chosen for #LitsyAtoZ- I plan to do both this year- and it will be one of those 4... 6mo
TheBookkeepersApprentice I love doing this too! 6mo
JenReadsAlot Happy New Year!! I love picking out my first book - this year will be Becoming!! 6mo
Lindy There‘s something special about the first book of the year. I‘ve chosen to start The Tale of Genji, one chapter per day, and a bunch of Littens have decided to join me. 😊 6mo
Amiable Every year I pick a book that is approximately 1,000 pages and start it on Jan. 1. It usually takes me a few months. I'm still debating what I'll pick for 2019--for it narrowed down to 3. 6mo
monkeygirlsmama I don‘t plan it out, just grab what I grab if I‘m not already in the middle of something. Btw, you‘re shelf is awesome. 6mo
Hornsby78 I'm like @monkeygirlsmama , I just grab whichever one is next in my book bag or on the shelf. Niw I want to get deliberate about choosing the first one next week. I'm in the middle of Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett right now and I am laughing my ass off at this book. P.S.- you decoarate like I do with "Halloween" things (for other people) out all year long. I have a bat on my rear view mirror in the car all year. 6mo
Reviewsbylola I usually take my first pick pretty seriously. This year it‘s 6mo
TheWordJar I‘m usually in the middle of a few books when the year begins, but I do give some thought to the first book I‘m going to start in the new year. I‘ve decided on Becoming by Michelle Obama for 2019. 6mo
159 likes2 stack adds12 comments
blurb
nycbookboi
post image

Best #galleybrag of 2018, srry

Smrloomis Oh, he wrote a novel! I had no idea 🥳 6mo
nycbookboi @Smrloomis out this summer! 6mo
10 likes2 stack adds2 comments