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- The collection’s poems explore “personal loss, the meaning of family and the cost of being the product of an American war in America,” as Vuong “searches for life” following the death of his mother.
- The book’s cover was designed by Vice President Art Director of Penguin Press Darren Haggar.
- Vuong told EW he is always “filled with regrets” whenever he finishes a book. He further explained, “It doesn’t mean that I’m not proud of what I’ve written — however fleeting pride might be — but only that I wish it could be more, that it could enact the mind’s myriad changes in real-time.”
- This time, however, is different for Vuong. “I feel absurdly happy, content, utterly empty and full all at once,” he said. “For whatever strange and ungodly reason, I don’t doubt this book’s place in the world the same way I have doubted my own selfhood in it.”
- Vuong’s 2016 poetry collection, “Night Sky With Exit Wounds,” won the 2017 T.S. Eliot Prize. He has also written two chapbooks, “Burnings” (2010) and “No” (2013).
- His 2019 novel, “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous,” was 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. It was also shortlisted for the 2019 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and ultimately won the 2019 New England Book Award for Fiction.
- Vuong, who currently teaches at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, received a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry fellowship from the Poetry Foundation in 2014, a Whiting Award in 2016 and a MacArthur fellowship in 2019.