Ocean Vuong: Becoming Briefly Gorgeous
The acclaimed young Vietnamese writer Ocean Vuong talks to Oonagh Cousins about creating words, finding the right image, writing at night and being uncomfortable.
The young Vietnamese writer Ocean Vuong has been called “one of our most gifted poets”. He came to public attention when his poetry collection “Night Sky With Exit Wounds” was showered with awards. His first novel “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous” followed last year and has also been critically acclaimed.
Ocean’s work often mirrors his own experience as an immigrant. He was born in Saigon, Vietnam but at a young age he and members of his family left Vietnam, as refugees for the United States. After attempting a degree in business, Ocean found his true vocation as a writer and now divides his time between creating new work and teaching university students.
Oonagh Cousins talks to Ocean about the way he creates his work, how ideas and images come to him and the importance of being uncomfortable when he’s writing.
Presenter: Oonagh Cousins
Producer: Emma Kingsley for BBC World Service
Image of Ocean Vuong by Peter Bienkowski