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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.
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review
Elena77
Pickpick

I am in awe of this book and its author‘s lyrical writing. The ease with which I have been taken through stories, past and present, the descriptions that simply paint photos for how evocative and detailed they are, the layers of history, countries‘, families‘ histories and personal ones. Such an incredible read.

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Shaaaannnn
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Fun fact: I almost never purchase books brand new and exclusively buy from thrift stores. Got all these at Savers tonight. ✨🤍

swishandflick Everything I Never Told You 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽 (edited) 2mo
Leftcoastzen Great way to watch the budget & still find great reads ! 2mo
Wesleypaker Hello how are you doing today G 1mo
15 likes3 comments
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Blackink_WhitePaper
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Let me begin again. Dear Ma, I am writing to reach you - even if each word I put down is one word further from where you are.

#Firstlinefridays @ShyBookOwl

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ju.ca.no
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Finall finding time to read this! So far I very much enjoy the poetic language 💙 the story feels kind of vague so far, but also very touching glimpses of an immigrant life!

38 likes1 stack add
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parasolofdoom
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kaysworld1
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#Alphabetgame
#LetterO

On earth we are briefly gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

This book is a mixture of everything happy, sad, first times, heartbreak, loss, misunderstanding mental health, read by Ocean himself with his emotional warmth and bluntness.

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Sounds really good! Thank you for playing! 📚 5mo
31 likes1 comment
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allureofbeauty
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#currentlyreading this for a queer book club tomorrow. Also orange muffins are love.

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Beautiful 💜 7mo
21 likes1 stack add1 comment
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ju.ca.no
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Am I on a bookbuying ban? Absolutely! Does that mean I can leave a bookstore without a new book? Absolutely not😅 I‘ve heard many good things about this book, so I‘m already excited to start it! We‘re going on vacation next weekend and I‘m planning on bringing this as a backup to my ebook reader💙

Soubhiville 🤣😂🤣 I can relate. It‘s impossible to leave a bookstore empty handed. But I just have to support them, so not a bad thing! 7mo
ju.ca.no @Soubhiville yes, that‘s good thinking😁😁 They definitely need to be supported! 7mo
50 likes2 comments
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rwmg
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Mehso-so

Semi-autobiographical novel about a gay, mixed-race Vietnamese boy who immigrated to America as a small child with his mother and grandmother.

Gorgeous writing that really drew the reader into the scenes described but I found it ultimately disappointing because for me it didn't really cohere as a narrative.

#unpopularopinion

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kaysworld1
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Pickpick

I listened to this on audio and the author's voice was so gentle and soothing.
Broke my heart but also wrapped it up again.

#HappyPride
#queerbooks
#LGBTQ
#GAYPRIDE

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rwmg
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22 likes1 stack add
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ChaoticMissAdventures
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#pridebookrec
G for Gay
Gorgeous is the word for this one. Ocean Vuong's writing is outstandingly beautiful. A letter from a son to his illiterate mother, this is loosely based on the author 's life and is worth every word of reading.

28 likes1 stack add
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cheesemoi
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Pickpick

I had to sit on this review for a while and decided it as a pick! I have not stopped thinking about this book since I finished it. Wildly intense, emotionally— I think 250-ish pages was a perfect length for it. It‘s a masterful blend of form and function: poetic prose and emotional intensity that‘s well-matched for such an indelible, intimate read.

monalyisha I love, love, love this book. 💖 8mo
13 likes1 comment
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cheesemoi
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Pardon the spelling and the penmanship— I‘m about halfway through the book now. I thought this cartoon from my day journal summarized my thoughts pretty accurately

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IuliaC
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Pickpick

"Yes, there was a war. Yes, we came from its epicenter. In that war, a woman gifted herself a new name-Lan-in that naming claimed herself beautiful, then made that beauty into something worth keeping. All this time I told myself we were born from war-but I was wrong, Ma. We were born from beauty."

A heart-breaking, raw and grief-stricken confession written in a beautiful poetic prose. The story itself reminded me of "Transcendent Kingdom"...

71 likes2 stack adds
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cheesemoi
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Started this last night and finished part 1 this morning. It‘s beautifully written and absolutely devastating. It reads more like poetry than a novel with the rich descriptions and different recollections of memories.

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cephellapod
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Pickpick

so good and so tragic. i do think the author‘s style could get old; ending every section with a quippy metaphor… but still an amazing read

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Kitta
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Poety reading at the 92Y!

Very excited to finally have a copy of this. Also grabbed a copy of Time Is a Mother by Ocean Vuong.

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Victoriahoperose
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Mehso-so

This was really bleak. It was just such a depressing story with one thing after another that was just hard to read about. I liked it. I just didn‘t love it. It jumped around a lot and it was hard to follow in some points. The writing was absolutely beautiful but the style just was hard for me to get into.

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Cazxxx
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Mehso-so

This was a buddy read with my son who loves this author. The writing was absolutely beautiful, such lyrical prose which I appreciated. The book was just not my type of thing but it was lovely to listen to

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Cazxxx
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35 likes1 stack add
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JoJo13

Like snow covering the particulars of the city, they will say we never happened, that our survival was a myth. But they‘re wrong. You and I, we were real. We laughed knowing joy would tear the stitches from our lips.

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CorgiBooks
Pickpick

Can't believe I forgot to review this! I mean I love poetic prose so this was always going to be one for me, the blend of the autobiographical stories and bittersweet ideals works perfectly and I thoroughly enjoyed it

9 likes2 stack adds
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ItsAnotherJen
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Pickpick

"Did you know people get rich off of sadness? I want to meet the millionaire of American sadness. I want to look him in the eye, shake his hand, and say, 'it's been an honor to serve my country."

The title of this book made me want to read it more than anything. It's such beautiful writing, containing more meaning in some sentences than most books have in their entirety.
?❤

tokorowilliamwallace Yes, these people are called healthcare administrators, insurance companies, pharmaceutical administrators/medical supply companies. Insulin is more inaccessible and expensive here than in other countries of people I've talked to, including India and the Philippines! 13mo
90 likes5 stack adds1 comment
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rather_be_reading
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Book 207

Tera66 I'm starting this one tomorrow hopefully! 1y
kamoorephoto I love the title of this book… 1y
rather_be_reading @Tera66 so good. so sad 1y
rather_be_reading @kamoorephoto def catches attention 1y
62 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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Creme_de_la_them
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Pickpick

What a beautiful, complicated, hard book. This autobiographical novel is a letter to the author‘s mother. It covers topics like racism, immigration, war, imperialism, inter generational trauma, opioids and youth overdoses, sexuality, the intersection of race and sexuality, poverty, addiction, mental illness, abuse, and the way decades of manual labor break down a person‘s body. I highly recommend reading it.

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Tsalm1
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Pickpick

Book 14 of 2021 - can see why this has been so highly praised. Quite poetic at times, which I sometimes struggle to engage with, but definitely worth a read. Raw, honest and beautiful. 4 ⭐️s

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Creme_de_la_them

“Sometimes, when I‘m careless, I think survival is easy: you just keep moving forward with what you have, or what‘s left of what you were given, until something changes—or you realize, at last, that you can change without disappearing, that all you had to do was wait until the storm passes you over and you find that—yes—your name is still attached to a living thing.”

—Ocean Vuong

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NovelNancyM
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“We try to preserve life -- even when we know it has no chance of enduring its body. We feed it, keep it comfortable, bathe it, medicate it, caress it, even sing to it. We tend to these basic functions not because we are brave or selfless but because, like breath, it is the most fundamental act of our species: to sustain the body until time leaves it behind“ (198).

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mirnass
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Pickpick

A young man of Vietnamese origine writes a letter to his illiterate mother. Amazing novel! Excellent story and style. Ocean Vuong is a promising young writer

19 likes1 stack add
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k8makesart
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"But why can't the language for creativity be the language of regeneration?"

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k8makesart
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"The girl, her ear pressed to the woman's chest, listens as if eavesdropping behind a door."

6 likes1 stack add
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GatheringBooks
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Eva_B
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Pickpick

Beautifully written book.

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SanjanaGhosh
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Words like these make me wonder, how is such depth of thought or feelings even possible? This is so beautiful!

20 likes1 stack add
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itsyvetperez
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Pickpick

"Too much joy, I swear, is lost on our
desperation to keep it."

-- 5⭐️

#oceanvuong #bookstagram #bookstoread

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BekaReid
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Pickpick

Beautiful writing. Powerful story.

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BekaReid
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“Who will be lost in the story we tell ourselves? Who will be lost in ourselves? A story, after all, is a kind of swallowing. To open a mouth, in speech, is to leave only the bones, which remain untold.”

monalyisha I loved this book so much. 💗 2y
BekaReid @monalyisha I'm nearly half way through it, and it's sooo good ❤️ 2y
18 likes1 stack add2 comments
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KadeLexical
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To be a monster is to be a hybrid signal, a lighthouse: both shelter and warning at once.

13 likes1 stack add
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heyitsMacall
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Pickpick

This book! Such beauty! Books like these make me feel like a book snob. My book club read and discussed for this book and I loved sharing it with my friends 💕

31 likes1 stack add
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kaysworld1
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Pickpick

This book is a mixture of everything happy, sad, first times, heartbreak, loss, misunderstanding in mental health, read by Ocean himself with his emotional warmth and bluntness.

#currentlyreading #audiobook #autobiography #librarybook #readingthelibrary #readyforthefuture #readathon #reading #readingmyownbooks #loveislove #lgbtq #queerbooks #love

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Deblovestoread
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#CuriousCovers Day 7 #Gray

I started this one a while ago but it wasn‘t the right time. It‘s back on the shelf for now as I want to try again instead of making it a DNF.

Eggs The “right time” is important! ☑️🔘⚫️⚪️ 2y
TieDyeDude Same. I look forward to trying it again 2y
48 likes2 comments
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MamaMastracci
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My May 2021 reads. It‘s Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage month and I wanted to honor that by reading #AAPI authors this month. There were some excellent reads this month!
#Bookworm #May2021Reads #AAPIauthors 📚🐛❤️

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DrexEdit
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Pickpick

How can this beautiful book be anything other than 5 ⭐ Such a powerful story told by a young writer with powerful skills. The language alone is worth reading this book. I read the book and tonight attended a live book event with Ocean Vuong. Such an amazing human being. These are the kinds of people I am just in awe of. So much generosity, so much love, so much empathy, so much knowledge!
❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

DrexEdit They mentioned at the event tonight that a movie is being made from this book. I won't even bother with that. This book is not about visuals. It's pure, beautiful language! 2y
ChaoticMissAdventures How lucky to see him. I agree, I loved the book and see no need for a movie because it was all about his beautiful language. 2y
45 likes2 comments
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DrexEdit
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Starting a new book late on a Saturday night. Not getting much done tonight besides reading! 📖🤓

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rachaich
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Mehso-so

Hard.
Tough.
Didn't appeal...
The actual prose is sublime, so full and rich even when it's describing harrowing and harsh experience or landscape. But the story, the content, I struggled and would have given up except for it being a book club.

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rachaich
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So, book club pick... really like the blurb on the back but finding it a tough read...😏😏

Cupcake12 Pretty cover 🌺 2y
rockpools Definitely! I was glad I‘d read it, but even more glad when I‘d finished it! 2y
20 likes2 comments
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youneverarrived
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Pickpick

Four stars because there‘s no denying it‘s beautifully written. For a novel that deals with tough issues like mental illness, addiction and feeling displaced I didn‘t want to stop reading it, and read parts over again. It‘s not without its faults though - I didn‘t connect to the characters much and as beautiful as the writing is there were times it had a feeling of try hard about it. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Cathythoughts Great review! 2y
AmyG I agree with what you wrote-great review. 2y
See All 6 Comments
Liz_M Yes - beautiful, but distancing, prose! 2y
youneverarrived @Liz_M exactly that! 2y
64 likes1 stack add6 comments