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On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous (Hardback)

By Vuong, Ocean

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The novel is a meditation on memory, identity, sexuality and race - but also a frank confession of Vuong's first sexual relationship, with a boy on a tobacco farm - a confession his mother will never be able to read, because she cannot read.

ISBN 9781787331501
Barcode 9781787331501
Published 4 June 2019 by Vintage
Format Hardback
Alternate Format(s) View All (4 other possible title(s) available)
Availability
In stock at publisher; ships 6-12 working days

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Full details for this title

ISBN-13 9781787331501
ISBN-10 1787331504
Stock Available
Status In stock at publisher; ships 6-12 working days
Publisher Vintage
Imprint Jonathan Cape Ltd
Publication Date 4 June 2019
International Publication Date 20 June 2019
Publication Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Format Hardback
Author(s) By Vuong, Ocean
Category Modern Fiction
Number of Pages 256
Dimensions Width: 144mm
Height: 222mm
Spine: 26mm
Weight 377g
Interest Age General Audience
Reading Age General Audience
NBS Text General & Literary Fiction
ONIX Text General/trade
Dewey Code 813.6
Catalogue Code 975798

Description of this Book

Ocean Vuong was born in a rice paddy outside Saigon. Two years later, his family moved to America. He was the first in his family to learn how to read English. His mother, who still works in the same nail-bar in Hartford, Connecticut, never did. This novel is framed as a letter to her: a letter which she will never read. This allows the author a great deal of freedom. This is both an autobiographical novel and the story of his family in Vietnam before he was born - a history of war and displacement. But it is also a very powerful and personal story of what it feels like to be an immigrant, to be dispossessed, to be other: not just as a young Vietnamese boy in the US, but as a gay adolescent growing up in white-trash America. The novel is a meditation on memory, identity, sexuality and race - but also a frank confession of Vuong's first sexual relationship, with a boy on a tobacco farm - a confession his mother will never be able to read, because she cannot read. The writing is luminously beautiful and the story incredibly moving. In these fractured times, this is an important book: a profound testimony of the outsider.

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Awards, Reviews & Star Ratings

NZ Review Ocean Vuong is a truly remarkable new voice... an extraordinary talent. -- Andrew Marr 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 Vuong writes with a clear beauty and insistence unlike any other writer working today. * NYLON * In the manner of a truly great poet, Vuong can - and frequently does - drop a sentence that strikes you like a beautiful fist to the solar plexus. * Huffington Post * If it's anything like Vuong's poetry it'll be an emotional knock-out. * Literary Hub, Most Anticipated Books of 2019 * 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
UK Review Bertrams Star Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)

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Author's Bio

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.

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