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On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous
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The New York Times bestselling debut novel from the prize-winning prodigy

About the Author

Ocean Vuong was a Ruth Lilly fellow and winner of a Pushcart Prize, and has received honours and awards from Poets House and the Academy of American Poets. Night Sky with Exit Wounds won the 2016 Whiting Award in the States, and the 2017 Forward Prize for Best First Collection and the T.S. Eliot Prize in the UK. He teaches at Amherst College, Massachusetts.

Reviews

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* *
Vuong is a prodigious talent, his handling of words and images both brutal and delicate, his treatment of violence, sex and the body radically clear-eyed. * Financial Times *
Vuong as a writer is daring. He goes where the hurt is, creating a novel saturated with yearning and ache... He transforms the emotional, the visceral, the individual into the political in an unforgettable - indeed, gorgeous - novel. * Time Magazine *
Ocean Vuong's fantastic new novel On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous reminded me that every word can be an incantation, and that beauty does hard and important work. -- Rebecca Solnit * New Statesman *
A stunning, frankly unforgettable debut novel... It's not surprising that novels by poets often include some of the loveliest prose, but Vuong's is especially luminous... On Earth We Are Briefly Gorgeous
is so many things; a love story from a son to his mother; an exploration of masculinity and race; and a series of limpid thoughts about the world... Everything about this book makes me feel glad to live in an era when the novel still matters, when the human ability to bring together words and sentences can lead to such scintillating, poignant language. -- James Robertson * Herald Scotland *
Vuong's material is gripping even in precis... Vuong's determination to see well-trodden ground afresh, with unremitting complexity, is extremely rare... In these authenticity-hungry times, Vuong could have let his sensational biography simply "speak for itself". There is a great deal to admire: that he was able to give such personal material novelistic treatment; that he had the patience to wait until that was possible; that he only had wait until he was 30... [an] exciting talent. * Sunday Times *

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