Ocean Vuong on Teaching and Writing

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“When I write, I feel much larger than the limits of my body,” says Ocean Vuong, author of Time Is a Mother (Penguin Press, 2022), in this interview with his Danish translator Caspar Eric at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark. “There is a mystery you tap into that is much bigger.”

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Ocean Vuong on Grief and Language

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“When a loved one dies, you experience your life in just two days, today, when they are no longer here, and yesterday, the immense, vast yesterday, when they were here,” says Ocean Vuong, author most recently of Time Is a Mother (Penguin Press, 2022), in this installment of PBS NewsHour’s “Brief but Spectacular” arts and culture video series.

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Ocean Vuong on War, Sexuality, and Asian American Identity

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“I would sneak out of recess, stay in the library to listen to tapes of famous speeches, and one of them was Martin Luther King,” recounts Ocean Vuong about his childhood in this interview with Michel Martin for Amanpour and Company. “You could hear the static when he was giving the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, and I thought...who is this man talking about dreams in a snowstorm?” Vuong was awarded the 2020 Brooklyn Public Library Fiction & Poetry Prize for his novel, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous (Penguin Press, 2019).

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Little Fires Everywhere

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Little Fires Everywhere is a television adaptation of Celeste Ng’s 2017 novel of the same name about the tensions between two families in the Ohio suburbs during the 1990s. The eight-episode miniseries is directed by Lynn Shelton and stars Rosemarie DeWitt, Jordan Elsass, Joshua Jackson, Kerry Washington, and Reese Witherspoon.

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Summer Beach Reads

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On BRIC TV’s 112BK, Jessica Stockton Bagnulo, co-owner of Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn, presents her summer reading recommendations including Ocean Vuong’s On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous (Penguin Press, 2019), Namwali Serpell’s The Old Drift Hogarth, 2019), Esi Edugyan’s Washington Black (Knopf, 2018), and Hugh Ryan’s When Brooklyn Was Queer (St. Martin’s Press, 2019).

Summer Reading Recommendations

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In this PBS NewsHour video, NPR’s Maureen Corrigan and the Washington Post’s Carlos Lozada highlight their favorite books for summer reading, which include Ocean Vuong’s On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous (Penguin Press, 2019), Jill Ciment’s The Body in Question (Pantheon, 2019), and José Olivarez’s Citizen Illegal (Haymarket Books, 2018).

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous

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“It was an attempt to see if language can really be a bridge, as it is often aspired to be, and ultimately that it could fail.” In this video, Ocean Vuong speaks about the letter he wrote to his illiterate mother that inspired his debut novel, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous (Penguin Press, 2019). A profile of Vuong by Rigoberto González appears in the July/August issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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A Reading by Carolyn Forché

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“There is nothing one man will not do to another.” Carolyn Forché reads “The Visitor” and “The Colonel” from her second poetry collection, The Country Between Us (Copper Canyon Press, 1981), which bore witness to her travels in El Salvador in the late 1970s. Forché’s debut memoir, What You Have Heard Is True: A Memoir of Witness and Resistance (Penguin Press, 2019), documents that same period of time and is featured in Page One in the March/April issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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