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— by Anthony Domestico: In his new book, a novel called On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, Vuong again proudly wears his earnestness on his sleeve. The book shares its title with a poem from Night Sky with Exit Wounds. The poem “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous” was deeply experimental, moving between traditionally lineated tercets, paragraphs of prose-poetry, and other forms and styles. It was also deeply emotional, charting the hungry vulnerability and transformative power of erotic love. The novel On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous similarly weds the experimental and the emotional, fracturing novelistic structure and making felt the violence and beauty of love in its many forms: maternal, filial, romantic, aesthetic…

Image of Ocean Vuong courtesy of Tom Hines

July 2, 2019