Ocean Vuong and Jess Boyd discuss "On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous"
Thursday, June 20, 2019, 7 – 8:15 p.m.
Ocean Vuong and Jess Boyd discuss "On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous"
WhereCentral Library
Room LocationLevel 1 - Microsoft Auditorium
AudienceAdults
LanguageEnglish
SummaryJoin us to hear Ocean Vuong talk with Jess Boyd about his new novel, a shattering portrait of a family, a first love, and the redemptive power of storytelling.
DescriptionWhen Little Dog is in his late twenties he writes a letter to his mother that unearths their family’s 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.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

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





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.

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS:

Ocean Vuong is the author of the critically acclaimed poetry collection Night Sky with Exit Wounds, winner of the Whiting Award and the T.S. Eliot Prize. His writings have also been featured in The Atlantic, Harper's, The Nation, New Republic, The New Yorker, and The New York Times. Born in Saigon, Vietnam, he currently lives in Northampton, Massachusetts. On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous is his first novel.

Jess Boyd is a Vietnamese Jewish Londoner who moved to Seattle to build family and invest in the Vietnamese American community. Before moving to Seattle, she worked at the NFL in the UK as the head of Gender and Community Development, creating a curriculum for college football players to become allies in the fight against domestic abuse and sexual assault. Today, she is a storyteller, editor, magazine founder, organizer, board member, nonprofit professional and intersectional feminist. In her free time, she's passionate about offering culturally competent birth support to Asian birthing parents and using Muay Thai to support API womxn step into their physical, emotional and ancestral resilience.

PRAISE FOR THE BOOK:



“[Vuong’s] first foray into fiction is poetic in the deepest sense—not merely on the level of language, but in its structure and its intelligence…The result is an uncategorizable hybrid of what reads like memoir, bildungsroman, and book-length poem. More important than labels, though, is the novel's earnest and open-hearted belief in the necessity of stories and language for our survival. A raw and incandescently written foray into fiction by one of our most gifted poets.” —Kirkus (starred review)



“A bruised, breathtaking love letter never meant to be sent. A powerful testimony to magic and loss. A marvel.” —Marlon James, author of Black Leopard, Red Wolf





“On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous will be described — rightly—as luminous, shattering, urgent, necessary. But the word I keep circling back to is raw: that's how powerful the emotions here are, and how you'll feel after reading it – scoured down to bone. With a poet's precision, Ocean Vuong examines whether putting words to one's experience can bridge wounds that span generations, and whether it's ever possible to be truly heard by those we love most.” —Celeste Ng, author of Everything I Never Told You and Little Fires Everywhere



This event is supported by The Seattle Public Library Foundation, author series sponsor Gary Kunis, and media sponsor The Seattle Times, and presented in partnership with Vietnamese Friendship Association and Elliott Bay Book Company. Books will be available for purchase at the event.
NotesLibrary events and programs are free and everyone is welcome. Registration is not required.
PodcastThis event will be recorded for podcast.
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Contact Phone206-386-4636
Contact Info*Central Library
Room CapacitySpace is limited at library events. Please come early to make sure you get a seat. Due to the fire code, we can’t exceed the maximum capacity for our rooms.
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