Mac's Backs LGBTQ+ Book Club discusses On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong.
On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous 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--a history whose epicenter is rooted in Vietnam--and serves as a doorway into parts of his life his mother has never known, all of it leading to an unforgettable revelation. At once a witness to the fraught yet undeniable love between a single mother and her son, it is also a brutally honest exploration of race, class, and masculinity.
"This is one of the best novels I've ever read. I always want my favorite poets to write novels and here it's happened. Ocean Vuong is a master. This book a masterpiece. On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous is an ode to loss and struggle, to being a Vietnamese American, to Hartford, Connecticut, and it's a compassionate epistolary ode to a mother who may or may not know how to read. I dog-eared so many pages the book almost collapsed--I almost did." --Tommy Orange, author of There There
" 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." --Celeste Ng, author of Everything I Never Told You and Little Fires Everywhere
Ocean Vuong is the author of the critically acclaimed poetry collections Night Sky with Exit Wounds and Time is a Mother, as well as 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.
The book will be available at Mac's Backs or through our website at the 20% book club discount.