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6 must-read books written by the 2019 MacArthur ‘Genius’ Grant Winners

See the acclaimed works produced by this year's MacArthur Fellows, which include genre-bending novels, graphic nonfiction, and new takes on the classics.

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by poet and fiction writer Ocean Vuong

From the MacArthur Foundation: Vuong is honored for “marrying folkloric traditions with linguistic experimentation in works that explore the effects of intergenerational trauma, the refugee experience, and the complexities of identity and desire with eloquence and clarity.”

Ocean Vuong, a professor at the creative writing MFA program at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, published two poetry chapbooks and a full-length poetry collection (Night Sky with Exit Wounds) before releasing his debut novel, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, earlier this year. The novel received a windfall of praise from critics, including starred reviews from Library Journal, Kirkus, and Booklist. The book also made the longlist for the 2019 National Book Awards. “To read On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is to experience a beginning again and again. It is to see the world as an open field, full of possibility,” praises The Rumpus. 

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