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“A young man writes a letter to his illiterate mother in an attempt to make sense of his traumatic beginnings.” –Kirkus Reviews

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous

Written by Ocean Vuong
Published by Penguin Group

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 epicenter 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 our American moment, immersed as we are 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.

Primary ISBN: 9780525562023

Available As: Hardcover
Young Adult, Age 15 or older

Community Represented:

Themes: , , , , , ,

Setting: United States

Character’s New Arrival/New American Status: 1st Generation

Book Creator(s) Connection to the Community Represented: Own Voices/Lived Experience

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