In The Beauty (Book Thoughts: On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous,Ocean Vuong)

9780525562023_custom-b1644f34da21fad9543ba08d56cb9d7e68ca005b-s600-c85There are some books that are written so beautifully that you can choose a random page in it and find something so lyrical, so prosaic that you can read it out loud and be blessed by it. Ocean Vuong’s ‘On Earth We’re Briefly gorgeous’ is one of those books. I was lured into the book because I found it filed under ‘gay fiction,’ but the book is certainly more than that. It is also an immigrant story, and it touches upon something that for me is very interesting; the complicated oftentimes passionately love and hate relationship between a gay man and his mother. Indeed, the structure of the book is a letter of his son to his mother, knowing she probably will not read it. There were times I saw myself in how he interacted with her, as he is torn awe and pain of what she does to him, unknowingly adding more to the pain when one is discovering himself in the world. You can easily luxuriate in the words here, and instantly live in the narrator’s world. It is not one of those books with a lot of storytelling, and it does sometimes feel like it is stream of consciousness, but there’s so much beauty, and beauty is beauty.

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