Op aarde schitteren we even
De debuutroman van de dichter Ocean Vuong is een schokkend familieportret en een indringend relaas van een eerste liefde, waarin de bezwerende kracht van taal en verhalen wordt aangewend als middel om te overleven en kloven te overbruggen.
Op aarde schitteren we even is een brief van een zoon aan zijn moeder die niet kan lezen. De schrijver van de brief, de achtentwintigj...more
“All freedom is relative—you know too well—and sometimes it’s no freedom at all, but simply the cage widening far away from you, the bars abstracted with distance but still there, as when they “free” wild animals into nature preserves only to contain them yet again by larger borders. But I took it anyway, that widening.”
4 1/2 stars. Stunning.
On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous is quite a book. It is not surprising that the author is a poet, as this reads almost like a poetry collection - prose poe ...more
He is Little ...more
wow. i am stunned. in a debut novel where prose so elegantly meets verse, a work of beauty is created and the world is a better place because of it.
i randomly came across this video (probably one of the most genuine interviews i have ever seen) and i immediately fell in love wi ...more
Illness having survived the Vietnam war; his own journey through sexual exploration of his own orientation to finding himself; and the relationships he’s had with fam ...more
The author didn't write this book; he opened his heart and just let it bleed all over the pages. Reading it cracked mine open and turned me inside out.
Just a sample: "Did you know people get rich off of sadness? I want to meet the millionaire of American sadness. I want to look him in the eye, shake his hand, and say, "Its been an honor to serve my country".
“Because gunshots, lies, and oxtail—or whatever you want to call your god—should say Yes over and over, in cycles, in spirals, with no other reason but...more
“They say nothing lasts forever and I’m writing you in the voice of an endangered species.”I can’t even. I’m overwhelmed by the beauty and heartbreak of this book. Please experience it.
My favorite quote:
“Maybe we look into mirrors not merely to seek beauty, regardless how illusive, but to make sure, despite the facts, that we are still here. That the hunted body we move in has not yet been annihilated, scraped out. To see yourself still yourself is a refuge men who have not been denied ca ...more
This novel is a letter from “little dog” a Vietnamese-American gay man to his Vietnamese mother.
The family came to America when little dog was a little boy with just a few relatives, settled finally in Connecticut where life was tough.
I’m not going to go into the story because you need to just rea ...more
This review is also posted on my blog.
I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Ocean Vuong is first & foremost a poet and On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is his literary debut (he also has a poem by the same title). It’s not a novel novel, though, not in this very Western sense we’re all used to. There are no prominent arcs or villains, or any ascending tensi ...more
Something here is reminiscent of the epic poetry of Homer. Life's brutality, man’s frailty, the odyssey, the clash of civilizations, the incomparable language undeniably capturing human experience, these things make ...more
There is so much I want to tell you, Ma. I was once foolish enough to believe knowledge would clarify, but some things are so gauzed behind layers of syntax and semantics, behind days and hours, names forgotten, salvaged and shed, that simply knowing the wound exists does nothing to reveal it. I don’t know what I’m saying. I guess what I mean is that sometimes I don’t know what or who we are. Days I feel like a human being, while other days I feel more like a sound. I touch the world not as mys...more
To be gorgeous, you must first be seen,
but to be seen allows you to be hunted”
‘On Earth We Are Briefly Gorgeous’ written as a letter from a twenty something Vietnamese American narrator to his illiterate mother.
The protagonist is known only by the nickname his grandmother has given him
His letter appears to be semi autobiographical and addresses his family’s history,the violence that has transcended ...more
I opened the book with high hopes.
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous uses a fragmented narrative to tell, or perhaps explore is a better word, the life of Little Dog, a son born to Vietnamese immigrants into the USA. The reader gradually pieces together the story of Little Dog’s mother (Rose) and grandmother (Lan) along with Little Dog’ ...more
Oh how I love when a poet writes essays or novels. The language is powerful, the way some pieces are linear but others return to themes and core experiences is very moving. It starts out speaking to the violence in families, looks at ...more
A twig to hang our old ages on, a current to charge our failed youth from; a blanket to hush our demons from the black, a spring to nourish our wounded dreams underneath. A whole. A hollow. And everything suspended in between is memory.
'Ma. You once told me that memory is a choice. But if you were god, you’d know it’s a flood.'And like a flood, Little Dog untethers me from my world and takes me to his’, where he writes a letter and recounts his life of 28 odd years to his Ma, who is il ...more
There is no doubt that Ocean Vuong is a talented writer and this is an outstanding debut novel. But in the end this didn't quite attain its early promise.
For at least the first half of the book I was convinced this would be one of my top reads for the year. The complex Mother-Son-Grandmother relationship was a highlight. At, once cruel, tender, funny, heartbreaking - it was a kind of melancholy portraiture done in prose and poetry. It was perfection. I think it should have been central to t ...more
Sometimes you think you know well the geography of the land of words and language. Then, a book takes you by the hand and says look. And it shows you soaring mountains, crystalline waterfalls, and golden meadows you’d never before seen. You see your world in a whole new way.
This is that book.
This book packs an unfathomable amount of terrible, haunting beauty; wisdom; love; sensuality; and living and dying into its urgent 242 pages. But mak ...more
The pain is tenderly explored so acutely and pain ...more
At first glance, Vuong’s book has all the ingredients of a winning novel — lyrical writing, fascinating themes, a topical premise. Taking the form of a long, confessional letter from a young Vietname ...more
|Play Book Tag: On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong - 3 stars||5||28||Aug 11, 2019 01:54PM|
|Play Book Tag: On Earth We are Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong - 4 stars||9||22||Jul 29, 2019 07:12PM|
|Play Book Tag: On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong -- 4.5 stars||5||22||Jul 27, 2019 10:38AM|
|Play Book Tag: On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous - Ocean Vuong 5/5 ... OMG!||22||35||Jul 17, 2019 04:45PM|
|Play Book Tag: On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous - Ocean Vuong - 5 stars and a ❤️||20||38||Jul 12, 2019 10:02PM|