Reading ocean vuong : On Earth We Are Briefly Gorgeous


We live in strange times with the pandemic, isolation and too many broken people. In the past year alone, racial hate crimes headline the newspapers. I loved this book – Ocean Vuong’s book was a gift from a dear friend Nalis after I gave birth as the narrative so powerfully captures a son’s relationship with his Mother and Grandmother, Vietnamese immigrants to America.

This autobiographical book is an excellent read; relevant, timely and very moving. I highly recommend everyone reads it.

The recent shootings and assaults on Asian Americans hits very close to home and I have many dear friends like myself whose multi-generational trauma include grandparents who have survived the war, escaped the terror and pain in their Motherland to become immigrants in another country, seeking and building a new life, while trudging through the muddy waters of forging and finding a new identity.

The book is many things – it’s a deep and complex love letter to the author’s mother, about growing up in a foreign country, finding his place and language as an Asian immigrant and being gay – the odds all stacked against him as a minority. And it pained me reading about his experiences being bullied, mocked and excluded.

It’s heavy, emotive but also hopeful told with very graceful prose. I hope that one day the world can be truly inclusive and kind and everyone accepted regardless of colour, circumstances, gender or sexual preferences.

It made me think about how the responsibility begins with parenting – on raising an open, kind and inclusive person and it is my hope that I can raise my son to be a good person.

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