On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

on earth we're briefly gorgeous

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is the debut novel from Ocean Vuong who is a predominately a poet, written from the point of view of a son writing to his mother who cannot read. It touches on race, privilege, sexuality, masculinity, the Vietnam war, America’s battle with opioids and then all cleverly linked with points of popular culture such as Tiger Woods and 50 cent.

The pros were sometimes too abstract for me and I felt I was loosing the story in parts, nonetheless it was a very well thought out and moving plot, so much so I struggled to think it was Fiction as it felt so personal. I have never read anything like this so I would highly recommend this book just for to experience Vuongs writing. Afterwards I listened to some great podcast interviews with Ocean Vuong, in particular the one on Literary Friction, listening to him speak about the book is so brilliant and moving it brought a lot of the concepts together for me.

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