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Ocean Vuong

Author of On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous

10+ Works 4,716 Members 151 Reviews 3 Favorited

About the Author

Includes the name: Ocean Vuong

Image credit: Ocean Vuong, 2019

Works by Ocean Vuong

Associated Works

Nepantla: An Anthology Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color (2018) — Contributor — 78 copies
Granta 140: State of Mind (2017) — Contributor — 57 copies
The Best American Poetry 2019 (2019) — Contributor — 53 copies
Queer Nature: A Poetry Anthology (2022) — Contributor — 13 copies
Poetry Magazine Vol. 208 No. 1, April 2016 (2016) — Contributor — 9 copies
Poetry Magazine Vol. 205 No. 3, December 2014 (2014) — Contributor — 6 copies


2019 (28) 2020 (28) 2022 (15) 21st century (24) American (29) American literature (32) anthology (24) Asian American (21) audiobook (15) coming of age (41) Connecticut (23) ebook (20) family (32) fiction (224) gay (21) homosexuality (26) immigrants (40) immigration (16) Kindle (16) lgbt (32) LGBTQ (75) LGBTQ+ (13) library (12) literary fiction (24) literature (29) memoir (15) mothers and sons (15) non-fiction (21) novel (45) poetry (334) queer (20) read (35) read in 2019 (20) read in 2020 (15) signed (25) to-read (474) USA (31) Vietnam (107) Vietnam War (13) Vietnamese (16)

Common Knowledge



The very lyrical style of writing meant , I initially had to reread, after my last book of light fiction. I was not surprised to learn that his previous work included books of poetry.
This is a very personal account of the life of a Vietnamese immigrant family in the United States and yes it would appear to based on the author's own life. It has a very fluid timeline moving through events in his childhood and indeed between Vietnam and the United States. Some of it's content reminds me of [Demon Copperfield].… (more)
HelenBaker | 120 other reviews | Dec 7, 2023 |
"Novel" does not seem the most apt descriptor for this collection of prosepoetry. And no, that is not a typo. The language is reason alone to pick up this book. It is like watching a painter. If this is at the sacrifice of plot and conventional narrative, so be it. The language of this book is extraordinary.

And while there is not a single trajectory (really more a rhizomatic network of recollections and memories), we meet characters who embody truth in their realness, whether it is the protagonist's mother in her ability to be both mother and demon, the grandmother in her frailty and strength, or Trevor, in his sexual awakening and moments of tenderness juxtaposed with every red-blooded American masculine trope. Most of the characters seem to be reconciling (or not) the opposites within.

Where I grew slightly weary was in the sexual awakening passages. While written beautifully, I relegate that many words devoted to sex to a different genre, and don't prefer it taking up that much space in a "novel" where I anticipate some sort of narrative arc. The arc is there, but it is subtle, and the retracing of steps/revisiting of sexual experiences found me scrolling through the pages of the e-book a bit faster in places. Mileage will definitely vary on this front, so I offer this criticism in humility and with full acknowledgment that it is my personal preference.

As I said, however, I don't think I've ever read such a poetic novel and it is well worth the time to see how words can be briefly gorgeous.
… (more)
rebcamuse | 120 other reviews | Dec 3, 2023 |
Moshepit20 | 6 other reviews | Oct 7, 2023 |
4 stars for the first half of the book, 2 stars for the last half, so I averaged to get 3 stars.
Maryjane75 | 120 other reviews | Sep 30, 2023 |



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