On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

Brilliant, heartbreaking and highly original, Ocean Vuong's debut novel is a shattering portrait of a family, and a testament to the redemptive power of storytelling.

'A marvel' Marlon James

This 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. It tells of Vietnam, of the lasting impact of war, and of his family's struggle to forge a new future. And it serves as a doorway into parts of Little Dog's life his mother has never known - episodes of bewilderment, fear and passion - all the while moving closer to an unforgettable revelation.

'A masterpiece' Max Porter

'Luminous, shattering, urgent, necessary' Celeste Ng

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Product description


Everything is beautiful in this debut Vuong 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*

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Vintage (1 September 2020); Penguin Random House

  • Language ‏ : ‎ English

  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 256 pages

  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1529110688

  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1529110685

  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 181 g

  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 12.9 x 12.9 x 19.8 cm

  • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ United Kingdom

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