Ocean Vuong: On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous

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Thurs June 20, 2019, 7 pm
Central Library Downtown Seattle (Seattle)
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When Ocean Vuong toured with his recent collection of poetry, Night Sky with Exit Wounds, his powerful readings would turn roomfuls of cynical adults into crying children. His use of cinematic imagery in poetry was enthralling. The gentle intensity of his reading style was mesmerizing. And though he was writing about all the old subjects—loneliness, family, pain—every poem seemed fresh and alive. Expect similar results with his first foray into fiction, On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous, which centers on a son writing a letter to his illiterate mother. The book seems like a fictional extension of the incredible personal essay he published in the New Yorker, "A Letter to My Mother That She Will Never Read." Vuong's mother couldn't read, but he expresses himself best through writing. The piece explores the ways in which language shapes our identities and limits (or enhances) our ability to communicate. "I am writing because they told me to never start a sentence with because. But I wasn’t trying to make a sentence—I was trying to break free," he writes. by Rich Smith

Event Location

Central Library

1000 Fourth Ave Seattle, WA 98104 Venue website

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Readings & Talks Fiction

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