BookBrowse Reviews On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

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On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous

by Ocean Vuong

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong X
On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
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  • Published:
    Jun 2019, 256 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Rachel Hullett
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An intimate portrait of the relationship between mother and son that expertly navigates the indelible effect of war on one Vietnamese American family.

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous, the bold and bracing debut novel by acclaimed poet Ocean Vuong, centers on Little Dog, the son of a Vietnamese immigrant mother and an absent father. Raised in present-day Hartford in a predominantly white community, Little Dog struggles from an early age to both assimilate with his peers and to honor his Vietnamese heritage, but here Vuong deviates from the standard immigration story blueprint in favor of something more darkly sensual and internal. As the story unfolds, the reader comes to understand that the novel is an elaborate letter written from Little Dog to his mother, though she will never read it, as she is illiterate: the story he tells her is consequently private and unsparing. "The impossibility of you reading this makes my telling it possible," Little Dog confesses.

Vuong first demonstrated his linguistic prowess in his lyrical poetry ...

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Beyond the Book:
  Vietnamese Amerasians

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