On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous Paperback – 1 January 2020 by Ocean Vuong (Author)

(10 customer reviews)


12 sold in last 17 hours
Hurry! Over 12 people have this in their carts

Your recently viewed items and featured recommendations › View or edit your browsing history After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in.

  • On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous Paperback – 1 January 2020 by Ocean Vuong (Author)


    Request a Call Back

    •  Ask a Question

      On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous Paperback – 1 January 2020 by Ocean Vuong (Author)


      Ask a Question

        Estimated Delivery: Apr 27 – May 01
        ... people are viewing this right now

      Guaranteed Safe CheckoutTrust

      Product description


      Everything is beautiful in this debutVuong 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 luminousOn 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

      [Vuong] mines his extraordinary family story with passion and beauty… Vuong writes wonderfully. — Tessa Hadley ― Guardian

      This is a stunning, sensuous novel that paints a portrait of a mother and her child struggling to work out how to live in a new land. There is fear and anger but the boy’s love for his mother – and for the world that surrounds him – sings off the page. ― Monocle

      Utterly captivating writing. — Anthony Cummins ― Daily Mail

      Vuong can write with exceptional beauty and precision… [On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous] is a deeply moving book – I welled up roughly every 40 pages… one of the great strengths of this book is the way it elevates the personal into the political. Little Dog’s story is the story of modern America. — Tristram Fane Saunders ― Daily Telegraph

      One of American’s most noteworthy poets. His poems are beautiful and unpredictable, and the same goes for this, his debut novel… brilliantly raw. ― Sunday Times

      On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is a masterpiece: a staggeringly beautiful book, full of wisdom and pain. It seems obvious now, though it didn’t before, that a young gay poet born in Saigon would write the Great American Novel. I really think it’s that. A huge gift to the world.

      Readers who are familiar with Vuong’s poetry will recognise in this book the same lyricism, the same skill in turning a beautiful and poignant phrase which rendersmany of Vuong’s pronouncements timeless, lending them the quality of adages and deeply-earned wisdom… This is certainly a courageous work; some of the details of the young narrator’s relationship (particularly his sexual relationship) with Trevor seem new to fictionThis is a work that has much to say, and is in many respects worthy of attention. — Seán Hewitt ― Irish Times

      On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous will be described – rightly – as luminous, shattering, urgent, necessary. But the word I keep circling back to is raw: that’s how powerful the emotions here are, and how you’ll feel after reading it – scoured down to bone. With a poet’s precision, Ocean Vuong examines whether putting words to one’s experience can bridge wounds that span generations, and whether it’s ever possible to be truly heard by those we love most.

      Look out: here’s a new, beautiful, battering ram of fiction. Vuong is rewriting what fiction is supposed to be and it is a privilege to watch.

      A bruised, breathtaking love letter never meant to be sent. A marvel.

      Vuong is a mightily gifted observer… Some lines have the almost hallucinatory exactness of his best poems… moving and rarely less than excellent… [On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is] unleashed in every regard. ― New York Times

      This is one of the best novels I’ve ever read. Ocean Vuong is a master. This book is a masterpiece.

      One is not often given the chance to apply words like “brilliant” and “remarkable” to any novels, certainly not first novels. Thank you, Ocean Vuong, for this brilliant and remarkable first novel.

      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.

      Ocean Vuong’s novel is a profound consideration of identity, as well as a work of sensuous, poetic detail… we are made aware of his sense of invisibility as a Vietnamese-American while becoming totally immersed in hisworld. This tension between voice and silence is what lends the novel its gentle, dignified attack. ― New Statesman

      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.

      A candid meditation on masculinity, art, and the inescapable pull of opioids… Vuong peels apart phrases and reconfigures them into new, surprising ideas.Elle

      An epistolary masterpiece… Fearless, revelatory, extraordinary. ― Library Journal (starred review)

      Disarmingly frank, raw in subject matter but polished in style and language, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeousreveals the strengths and limitations of human connection and the importance of speaking your truth. ― BookPage

      [Vuong’s] first foray into fiction is poetic in the deepest sense – not merely on the level of language, but in its structure and its intelligence… The result is an uncategorizable hybrid of what reads like memoir, bildungsroman, and book-length poem. More important than labels, though, is the novel’s earnest and open-hearted belief in the necessity of stories and language for our survival. A raw and incandescently written foray into fiction by one of our most gifted poets.Kirkus (starred review)

      Casting a truly literary spell, Vuong’s tale of language and origin, beauty and the power of story, is an enrapturing first novel.Booklist (starred review)

      Sometimes a writer comes along and stops your breath. I’m reading On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous and there is so little air moving through my body as I read. When writing is this good, who needs air?

      A poignant exploration of a family history, a celebration of maternal love and an unflinching examination of race and class. Vuong’s novel is one of the most anticipated of the year.National

      [A] marvel of a book…[with] exquisite language. ― Refinery29

      On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is one of the most anticipated novels of the year… a piece of autobiographical fiction that avoids all the traps of that genre… The book has a poetic density that is at once elliptical and unflinching in its gaze, a testimony to the endlessly complicated dynamics of damage. ― Observer

      As an evocation of the tragic underside of American life, there’s no denying its [On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous] poetic power. ― Mail on Sunday

      Ocean Vuong is a magician with words, when he writes, it’s as if language itself is dancing. On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous… [is] a brutally honest exploration of race, class and masculinity. This debut novel is a luminous, mesmerising gift… Extraordinary. ― attitude, *Book of the Month*

      This moving, powerful debut from prizewinning poet Ocean Vuong… [is] a graceful exploration of race, class, and masculinity. ― Sunday Express

      Vuong solidifies the epistolary as an insurrectionary American form, offering it as a means of the States’ oppressed to voice their discontents with unrelenting eloquence… Vuong writes from a site of pain and compassion, for himself, for his mother, and for everyone else. ― The Arts Desk

      A moving, glittering letter from a son to a mother… direct, touching, stunningly wrought, [On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is] staggeringly good. ― UK Press Syndication

      A brutally honest exploration of race, class, and masculinity, as well as a discovery of how immersed we are in addiction, violence, and trauma, but undergirded by compassion and tenderness. ― SCAN, *Summer reads of 2019*

      Unforgettable… Asking questions central to the American moment, immersed as it is 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. ― SheerLuxe, *Summer reads of 2019*

      Vuong’s gambit is to make the reader reckon not only with difficult subjects, but also pay generous, open attention to the world… This consummately American novel both documents the nation’s wounded psyche while giving its protagonist a path to healing. ― Prospect

      Vuong…[is] a keen anthropologist of the contemporary American experience. ― Times Literary Supplement

      A beautiful novel full of raw feelings. ― Scotsman

      [A] phosphorescent debut novel… Vuong layers past and present brilliantly in a shifting series of brief episodes and striking mood-musings from within the mind of his protagonist… the hyperreality of Little Dog’s self-awareness is always a delight. ― Tablet

      Staggering, sensual and poetic — Pandora Sykes

      [A] stunning debut… Ocean Vuong crafts lyrical, masterful prose in this emotionally-powerful piece of story telling. On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is sure to stay with readers long after they have put the novel down. ― Eastern Daily Press

      A brutally honest exploration of race, class, and masculinity. ― Asian Art Newspaper, *Books of the Year*

      A tender exploration of violence, migration and language. — Justine Jordan ― Guardian, *Books of the Year*

      This romantic, lusciously written debut lingers over kisses. ― The Times, *Books of the Year*

      A magical synthesis of memoir, fiction and poetry. — Joyce Carol Oates ― Times Literary Supplement, *Books of the Year*

      So very full of beauty and power. Also, grace. — Tommy Orange ― Observer, *Books of the Year*

      On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong is a stunning, relentless work of pure passion and I was captivated from the go. — Úna-Minh Kavanagh ― Sunday Independent *Books of the Year*

      A story that is deeply relatable, understandable and can find common currency with us all. He uses his differences to connect us, to show the links that bind us, to explore violence, masculinity, poverty and yearning… you’ll quickly get carried away by his undercurrents into spaces and places you’d perhaps never thought of exploring or even realised existed. ― Gscene

      Vuong’s gift lies in his ability to write with beautiful specificity while digging into the wounds of immigration, culture, queerness and memory. I’ve read many very good books in 2019 but none have obliterated me like On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. — Katie Goh ― Skinny, *Books of the Year*

      Ocean Vuong is a magician with words. When he writes, it’s as if language itself is dancing. On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is… a brutally honest exploration of race, class and masculinity. This debut novel is a luminous, mesmerising gift. ― attitude, *Books of the Year*

      Astounding. — Malin Hay ― Upcoming

      Vuong jettisons the prose for poetic verse, with Roland Barthes, Duchamp’s Fountain and queer love all collapsing into splintering lines of verse. Vuong’s sentences are so beautiful, sometimes I would say them over and over again in my head, hoping I might be able to trap them in there. — Annie Lord ― Independent

      [Vuong is] brilliant and so flexible with language and has such an understanding of what an emotion incarnate is, he is able to not condense it but to heighten it across languages, across countries, across codes as characters speak to one another. He’s peerless. — Bryan Washington ― Observer

      [A] triumphant debut novel… On Earth We‘re Briefly Gorgeous felt like a true masterpiece being crafted before my eyes, and I was devastated to see the novel draw to a close. I truly can’t recommend this book highly enough – I don’t remember the last time I was so floored after reading something that I had to take the rest of the day off speaking to family… a passionate, eye-opening journey, and is most certainly one to be added to your lockdown reading list. — Rebecca Scott ― Glasgow Guardian

      Beautifully written… Unlike anything I have read before — Ellie Down ― Exeposé

      An engrossing coming-of-age story. — Mariella Frostrup ― Sunday Times

      About the Author

      Ocean Vuong is the author of the critically acclaimed poetry collection Night Sky with Exit Wounds and the New York Times bestselling novel On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. A recipient of the 2019 MacArthur “Genius” Grant, he is also the winner of the Whiting Award and the T.S. Eliot Prize. His writings have been featured in The Atlantic, Harper’s Magazine, The Nation, The New Republic, The New Yorker, and The New York Times. Born in Saigon, Vietnam, he currently lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.
      Dimensions 13.8 × 1.09 cm
      Publisher ‏

      ‎ VINTAGE (1 January 2020); Penguin Random House

      Language ‏

      ‎ English

      Paperback ‏

      ‎ 256 pages

      ISBN-10 ‏

      ‎ 1529110688

      ISBN-13 ‏

      ‎ 978-1529110685

      Reading age ‏

      ‎ 5 years and up

      Item Weight ‏

      ‎ 180 g

      Dimensions ‏

      ‎ 21.6 x 13.8 x 1.09 cm

      Country of Origin ‏

      ‎ India

      Net Quantity ‏

      ‎ 181 Grams

      Importer ‏

      ‎ Penguin Random House

      Packer ‏

      ‎ Penguin Random House

      Generic Name ‏

      ‎ Books


      55101500 (Printed publications) Report an incorrect code

      Based on 10 reviews

      4.44 Overall
      Add a review

      Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

      Write a review

      10 reviews for On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous Paperback – 1 January 2020 by Ocean Vuong (Author)

      1. Mahvish

        The quotes are worth reading and the cover and side of the book is so calming.✨

      2. Nivedita Dhankhar

        Dude, “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous” blew my mind. Ocean Vuong’s writing is like pure art – it’s like he’s painting feelings with words. The whole book reads like a letter to his mom, diving deep into family, identity, and love. You’ll feel every emotion like it’s your own. It’s like a heart-to-heart with your soul. Vuong’s honesty is crazy refreshing, like he’s letting you into his world. If you’re cool with getting hit right in the feels and being mesmerized by beautiful prose, this book’s a no-brainer. Get ready for a ride through the messy, breathtaking parts of life. 📖❤️

      3. P

      4. Amazon Customer

        The book is so much more beautiful in person. The dark blue has a velvet sort of finish, and on which the silver lettering futher pops.Seller: Cocoblu Retail LimitedPrice: 205 Rs

      5. Annu George (confused_thinker)

        What do you call a book that flows like a river from beginning to end, what do you call one that is painfully beautiful that your heart bleeds everytime you read the word, ‘Ma’ ?” I don’t know if you’re happy, Ma. I never asked.”“Ma, you once told me that memory is a choice. But if you were god, you’d know it’s a flood.”But my doubt is everywhere, Ma.Ma….At times, this book feels like a love letter. At times, like a memoir. At times, it feels something more than anything the words I know could describe. It told me how a war never ends, how it continues inside a person long after it is over, It told me how love at it’s best repeat itself, how to love something, at times was to name it after something so worthless that it might be left untouched, how for some people apology was their form of saying hello, how losing a person could make more of us, the living, broken into two. And the list goes on.I don’t remember the last time I cried reading a book. May be it was because Lan reminded me of my grandfather, how for me the greatest love was being asked ‘Did you eat’ when nobody cared and every time, Lan asks “Little Dog, Did you eat”, I felt love in it’s most pure form.I badly want to go back to this book and inhale in all the words, like how could somebody write about people and places with so much beauty that you fall in love even with the pain, how could somebody see something and relate it to something so different. Ocean Vuong is no less than a magician and I am so glad that I decided to buy this one. There is very few pages in this book that I haven’t highlighted. So give it a read, people. Happy Reading.

      6. rajiv agrawal

        Started with a lot of promise but turned boring towards the end

      7. Sridevi thakur

        The first thing is I’ve received from Amazon with Very short times after the day of order the next day … That really great … Thank youSecond is this book is dope …I really liked it .. many more interesting stories how ocean voung has written a letter to his mom … I’ve this book really interesting and cool..

      8. Tamanna

        the writing is beautiful, to say the least but the storyline was not it. it got a little boring towards the end but the writing saved it

      9. emily chanthavong

        Book ReviewOn Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is letter from a son to a mother. Our main character, Little dog, writes a letter to his illiterate mother who immigrated to from Vietnam. Little dog explores many themes exploration in this letter such as love, identity, trauma, war, and masculinity. The exploration of these themes shown in the letter make up the person little dog is today.I liked the novel a lot because it was very realistic and resonated with me personally. I like the approach on structure Little dog took when writing this letter to his mother. Sometimes it starts off with “Dear Ma,” other times it starts with a memory, or it would just be poetry. The inclusion of these different writing structures added another layer to the experience of reading this novel. I also like all the metaphors the speaker used to describe the complexities of his relationships with other people. I think the speaker does a neat job of using the combination of language and structure to convey his message. However, I do feel at times it does feel disconnected. Sometimes the speaker’s memories don’t correspond to the earlier or the later memory, so they get lost in translation. But when the memories do correspond to one another using the intended language the speaker uses really shine.Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who regularly reads since it would be a hard book to digest if you aren’t an avid reader.

      10. Ridaab

        A beautifully raw story about a person’s life,& the people before themThis was a great and quick read. In total it took me 5 hours to complete this book.This story is a story of an immigrant living and retelling the stories of the immigrants before him such as his mom and grandma.Beautifully written. Loved the portrayal of color. In the beginning of the book, the narrator describes colors to inanimate objects/feelings. As he grows older, other people begin to see him as his own skin color, hence they began to project their understanding of color on to him. Suddenly, color no longer describes an object/feeling but it becomes a weapon that divides people. Color becomes a tool that allows him to be put into a box before ever having the opportunity to give others a chance to know him. Color becomes his identity, as well as the identity of everyone around him. It’s also interesting how trauma affects not only those who lived through traumatic experiences, but also their children who will end up growing up with that trauma.The book has many themes including:• Race• Growing up as an American• Growing up with different cultural identities• Self Identity/Self Discovery• Generational Trauma• Inherited Trauma•Post war affects• Growing up bi racial• Complex parental relationships• Immigrants•Immigrants (due to war)•LGBTThings I disliked:Children having sex:Although the narrator is telling his story, and he is going back in time. I felt highly uncomfortable with the explicit scenes of minors having sex. There was no need to describe certain parts of the body as he did. Simply because of the fact that they were minors when this physical relationship happened. He could have easily mentioned how he felt instead of drawing explicit pictures for his audience.Neutral comment:Parts the story seemed messy, however I personally liked it and I understood it because that’s how my brain works. Making footnotes of footnotes. At the same time, it made sense for the story to be “messy” as he’s writing a letter to his mother. It’s not going to be neat. When you write a letter to your loved ones, many times you’re reminiscing about the old times, and so one memory will turn into another into another into another, and so it gives off the authentic vibes of a letter to someone close to you. You want them to remember the scene that you were at.As many have mentioned, this book isn’t for everyone.Overall, I rate this book 8.0279/10It’s a great book, easy to read, and it brought me out of my reading hiatus!

      SKU: 1529110688 Category: Tag:
      Close My Cart
      Close Wishlist
      Close Recently Viewed