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On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous

Published by USC Bedrosian Center on

In today’s episode we’re briefly gorgeous, or possibly briefly monstrous. We’re pretty sure both are applicable.

What we are sure of is that Ocean Vuong’s magnificent novel On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is just that; gorgeous and painful, heart fulfilling and heart breaking.

Poet Ocean Vuong’s debut novel is ostensibly a letter from the narrator, Little Dog, to his mother, Rose. Our narrator is a young man in his 20s. As a Vietnamese immigrant, Little Dog writes of war, abuse, first love, exploration of language and the struggles of coming of age.

After our introduction, David Sloane gives the perfect synopsis of the novel.

Listen as our host Aubrey Hicks discusses the novel with Liz Falletta, Jeff Jenkins, Stacy Patterson, and David Sloane.

Read along with us! Next month we’re reading Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes by Tamin Ansary.

Join the conversation about each episode on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. Or email us at [email protected].



Failing Better: A Conversation with Ocean Vuong by Viet Thanh Nguyen in LARB
L.A. Times Book Club’s next read is Ocean Vuong’s ‘On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous’
Far from the Tree by Rovin Benway
Going All City: Struggle and Survival in LA’s Graffiti Subculture by Stefano Bloch

Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance (podcast, book)


Bedrosian Center