A refugee at the age of two, Ocean Vuong and his mom found themselves fleeing Saigon, Vietnam, traveling across the globe, then dropped into a world that was simultaneously a source of renewal and safety, while also delivering a daily dose of profound othering. The English language came slowly to Ocean, struggling to read at the age of 11. But, over time, his deep curiosity and sense of observation led to a love of language that grabbed hold and never let go.
In 2016, he released a critically acclaimed poetry collection Night Sky that dazzled the literary world. His gorgeously written and deeply stirring first novel, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, which became an instant New York Times bestseller, draws largely on his experience growing up in Hartford, Connecticut with a mom who shared a complex love in a community he seemed perpetually estranged from. A recipient of the 2019 MacArthur “Genius” Grant, Ocean is also the winner of the Whiting Award and the T.S. Eliot Prize. His writings have been featured in The Atlantic, Harper’s Magazine, The Nation, The New Republic, The New Yorker, and The New York Times.
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