Why this book?
Ocean Vuong’s poetic quality of writing stunned me. His beautiful use of language captured the mutual attraction between two lonely teenage boys who become lovers, coupled with the pain and complexity of their lives. I felt the novel stepped away from the personal torment and anguish often seen in books about teenage same-sex love, though it didn’t refrain from acknowledging the impact of the Vietnam war, abuse, poverty, drugs, and dysfunctional family dynamics. I liked the book because the boys’ love and desire for one another had the power to temporarily circumnavigate their differences, personal torments, and sexual boundaries. The flashbacks Little Dog (the protagonist), had about his family and his mother’s memories of Vietnam were also haunting.
Why should I read it?
What is this book about?
Longlisted for the 2019 National Book Award for Fiction, the Carnegie Medal in Fiction, the 2019 Aspen Words Literacy Prize, and the PEN/Hemingway Debut Novel Award
Shortlisted for the 2019 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize
Winner of the 2019 New England Book Award for Fiction!
Named one of the most anticipated books of 2019 by Vulture, Entertainment Weekly, Buzzfeed, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Oprah.com, Huffington Post, The A.V. Club, Nylon, The Week, The Rumpus, The Millions, The Guardian, Publishers Weekly, and more.
"A lyrical work of self-discovery that's shockingly intimate and insistently…