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On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous (Paperback)

Staff Pick Badge
On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous By Ocean Vuong Cover Image
$51.48
May take several months to arrive, if available from publisher
(This book cannot be returned.)

Staff Reviews


Ocean Vuong's novel is an exercise in recovery. Or, as Little Dog puts it, "relief, through extravagant spectacle." The spectacle here is Vuong's language, his stories, his sentences. As Little Dog traces the history of his mother, her mother, and their escape from Vietnam, he traces their history as outsiders. Little Dog is himself an outsider, queer and Vietnamese, and his story, of family, sex, love, and a million other things, is thrilling to read because it is true: it contains the violence, beauty, filth, and purity of life all at once. This is a novel about how to live in that present. How sometimes we are not borne of the past, but survivors of it.

— Tyler Goodson

Disarming in its tenderness, Ocean Vuong's depiction of family, queer love, illness, and this nation is undeniably a masterwork of artful writing and human compassion. I was floored by how generous and full of gratitude this novel was.

— Luis

June 2019 Indie Next List


“Alright 2019, this is the novel to beat. On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is the rare novel that makes you experience reading in a slightly different way and shows you that, no matter how many books you’ve read, something new and uniquely beautiful can still be found. The novel takes the form of a letter written by the main character, Little Dog, to his mother — an immigrant from Vietnam who cannot read. The power of Vuong’s poetic writing shimmers with every paragraph, and each phrase is a carefully considered, emotional journey. Grappling with themes of identity, sexuality, addiction, violence, and finding your place in a world where you feel you don’t belong, this book already feels like a modern classic, destined to be read and talked about for years to come.”
— Caleb Masters, Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC

Product Details
ISBN: 9789571386508
ISBN-10: 9571386502
Publisher: Shi Bao Chu Ban
Publication Date: March 5th, 2021
Language: Chinese