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About Ocean Vuong
Vuong's writings have been featured in The Atlantic, Harpers, The Nation, New Republic, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Village Voice, and American Poetry Review, which awarded him the Stanley Kunitz Prize for Younger Poets. Selected by Foreign Policy magazine as a 2016 100 Leading Global Thinker, alongside Hillary Clinton, Ban Ki-Moon and Justin Trudeau, Ocean was also named by BuzzFeed Books as one of "32 Essential Asian American Writers" and has been profiled on NPR's "All Things Considered," PBS NewsHour, Teen Vogue, VICE, The Fantastic Man, and The New Yorker.
Born in Saigon, Vietnam, he lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, where he serves as an Assistant Professor in the MFA Program for Poets and Writers at Umass-Amherst.
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Named one of the most anticipated books of 2019 by Vulture, Entertainment Weekly, Buzzfeed, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Oprah.com, Huffington Post, The A.V. Club, Nylon, The Week, The Rumpus, The Millions, The Guardian, Publishers Weekly, and more
Poet Ocean Vuong’s debut novel is a shattering portrait of a family, a first love, and the redemptive power of storytelling
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. Asking questions central to our American moment, immersed as we are in addiction, violence, and trauma, but undergirded by compassion and tenderness, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is as much about the power of telling one’s own story as it is about the obliterating silence of not being heard.
With stunning urgency and grace, Ocean Vuong writes of people caught between disparate worlds, and asks how we heal and rescue one another without forsaking who we are. The question of how to survive, and how to make of it a kind of joy, powers the most important debut novel of many years.
Winner of the 2016 Whiting Award
One of Publishers Weekly's "Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2016"
One of Lit Hub's "10 must-read poetry collections for April"
Reading Vuong is like watching a fish move: he manages the varied currents of English with muscled intuition. His poems are by turns graceful and wonderstruck. His lines are both long and short, his pose narrative and lyric, his diction formal and insouciant. From the outside, Vuong has fashioned a poetry of inclusion.”The New Yorker
"Night Sky with Exit Wounds establishes Vuong as a fierce new talent to be reckoned with...This book is a masterpiece that captures, with elegance, the raw sorrows and joys of human existence."Buzzfeed's "Most Exciting New Books of 2016"
"This original, sprightly wordsmith of tumbling pulsing phrases pushes poetry to a new level...A stunning introduction to a young poet who writes with both assurance and vulnerability. Visceral, tender and lyrical, fleet and agile, these poems unflinchingly face the legacies of violence and cultural displacement but they also assume a position of wonder before the world.”2016 Whiting Award citation
"Night Sky with Exit Wounds is the kind of book that soon becomes worn with love. You will want to crease every page to come back to it, to underline every other line because each word resonates with power."LitHub
"Vuong’s powerful voice explores passion, violence, history, identityall with a tremendous humanity."Slate
In his impressive debut collection, Vuong, a 2014 Ruth Lilly fellow, writes beauty intoand culls fromindividual, familial, and historical traumas. Vuong exists as both observer and observed throughout the book as he explores deeply personal themes such as poverty, depression, queer sexuality, domestic abuse, and the various forms of violence inflicted on his family during the Vietnam War. Poems float and strike in equal measure as the poet strives to transform pain into clarity. Managing this balance becomes the crux of the collection, as when he writes, Your father is only your father/ until one of you forgets. Like how the spine/ won’t remember its wings/ no matter how many times our knees/ kiss the pavement.’”Publishers Weekly
"What a treasure [Ocean Vuong] is to us. What a perfume he's crushed and rendered of his heart and soul. What a gift this book is."Li-Young Lee
Torso of Air
Suppose you do change your life.
& the body is more than
a portion of nightsealed
with bruises. Suppose you woke
& found your shadow replaced
by a black wolf. The boy, beautiful
& gone. So you take the knife to the wall
instead. You carve & carve
until a coin of light appears
& you get to look in, at last,
on happiness. The eye
staring back from the other side
Born in Saigon, Vietnam, Ocean Vuong attended Brooklyn College.
Accolto dalla critica come il nuovo grande romanzo americano, Brevemente risplendiamo sulla terra è una straordinaria storia di formazione che, attraverso il legame d’amore tra un figlio e una madre, parla di identità, differenza, di come impariamo ad abitare i sentimenti più grandi. Un libro sulla forza di raccontarsi per riscattare il silenzio di non essere ascoltati, che rivela l’intensità e la grazia della scrittura di Ocean Vuong.
“ Un romanzo indimenticabile e meraviglioso. Un libro che incide l’anima dei lettori.”
Viet Thanh Nguyen Premio Pulitzer 2016
“ Grazie Ocean Vuong per questo splendido e straordinario romanzo d’esordio.”
Michael Cunningham Premio Pulitzer 1999
“Vuong amplia i confini di quello che la letteratura può mostrare, e su cui può far riflettere ed emozionare. Questo libro è un magnifico argomento a favore della capacità di meravigliarsi, e della potenza trasformatrice dell’amore.”
El entorno familiar del chico se compone de la abuela –ahora anciana y moribunda–, que tuvo que marcharse de Vietnam con sus hijas después de pasar por experiencias muy duras para sobrevivir acabada la guerra: se había casado con un militar estadounidense y años después del triunfo del Vietcong la familia fue evacuada a Filipinas, donde pasó un tiempo en un campo de refugiados, y desde allí emigró a América. Hay también un padre maltratador y ausente, que fue arrestado por agredir a su esposa. Y está la madre maltratada, que trabaja en un salón de manicura y mantiene una compleja relación con su hijo. Y, por último, el joven protagonista de esta historia, que creció en Hartford, Connecticut, sufrió acoso escolar por su doble marginalidad –como inmigrante y como homosexual– y descubrió siendo un adolescente el amor y la sexualidad con Trevor...
Un libro bellísimo y veraz, inspirado en las vivencias íntimas del autor, que combina momentos de extrema crudeza con otros de una belleza sutil y elusiva. Ocean Vuong nos deslumbra con esta primera novela en la que la literatura se convierte en una precisa y potente herramienta de evocación, descubrimiento y exploración para narrar el paso de la adolescencia a la madurez.