Reading Club: Diasporic Fictions – On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

Free admission
Date and time
Thursday, August 6, 2020 to Thursday, August 27, 2020 from 6 PM to 7 PM

Join the PHI Foundation Education team as we read and discuss novels related to our exhibition RELATIONS: Diaspora and Painting.

At the Reading Club, we will informally exchange about different themes in the books that reflect the complexities and the plurality of voices of the diasporas.

Each participant will be responsible for getting their own copy. We encourage you, whenever possible, to support your independent local bookstores. 

The second novel that will be discussed is Ocean Vuong’s On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous.

Thursday, August 6, 2020 at 6 PM
Zoom: 941 9283 7873 | Password: phibook201
Chapter to read: Chapter I (pp 1-71)

Thursday, August 27, 2020 at 6 PM
Zoom: 984 9124 9245 | Password: phibook202
Chapters to read: Chapters II & III (pp 75-244)

These events will be bilingual, in French and English.

Duration: 60 min

About On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous
On Earth We’re 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 family’s 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 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.

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