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. A lyrical work of self-discovery thats shockingly intimate and insistently universa lN ot so much briefly gorgeous as permanently stunning. --Ron Charles, The Washington Post Poet Ocean Vuongs debut novel is a shattering portrait of a family, a first love, and the redemptive power of storytelling On Earth Were 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 familys 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 Were Briefly Gorgeous is as much about the power of telling ones 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.