Virtual Library Program Features Ocean Vuong’s ‘On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous’ | Local News


WEST NEWBURY — Surviving trauma and embracing the inevitable transformation that follows are among the topics to be explored in a conversation with author and poet Ocean Vuong offered by the GAR Memorial Library next week.

The virtual event is being hosted by Chelmsford Library in partnership with Andover, Boxford, Carlisle, Dracut, Groton, Groveland, Holden, Lowell, Methuen, Newburyport, South Hamilton, Tewksbury and West Newbury Public Libraries.

On Thursday, May 26 at 7 p.m., the evening opens with a brief reading followed by a conversation between the award-winning Vietnamese-American poet, novelist, and educator, and Sandra Lim, Ph.D., professor of English at the University from Massachusetts to Lowell, who also won awards for her poetry.

Born in Saigon, Vietnam, and currently living in Northampton, Vuong is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel, “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous.” Written in a non-linear narrative form, the book is a letter from a young boy to his illiterate mother, capturing both his tenacity to survive in Vietnam after an American napalm raid as a child, and his struggles with mental illness. and later physical abuse as a single mother working at a nail salon in Hartford, Connecticut. An exploration of race, class, sexuality, masculinity, aging and death, the novel challenges the reader to think about how to heal and find joy in life after a trauma that changed his life. It has been described as “a masterful work of fiction” that “asks how we heal and save each other without giving up who we are”.

Vuong wrote the critically acclaimed collection of poetry, “Night Sky with Exit Wounds”. A recipient of the 2019 MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, he is also a recipient of the Whiting Prize and the TS Eliot Prize. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Harper’s Magazine, The Nation, The New Republic, The New Yorker and The New York Times.

Questions for the author can be submitted in advance to [email protected] for forwarding to Professor Lim.

To register, consult the calendar of events on


Comments are closed.