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'On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous' by Ocean Vuong Is Being Adapted Into a Movie

A prominent work of contemporary Vietnamese-American fiction is being adapted for the big screen.

As reported by Variety, independent film studio A24 confirmed in a recent episode of its podcast that it’s in the process of turning On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong into a feature film.

During the Monday episode of The A24 Podcast featuring Vuong and American novelist Bryan Washington, the introduction declares: “If you’re a reader of contemporary fiction, you’re no doubt familiar with the names Bryan Washington and Ocean Vuong. Bryan just published his debut novel Memorial this fall, and Ocean made his own debut last year with On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. We’re thrilled to be adapting Memorial as a limited TV series. And now seems as good a time as any to announce we’re also busy working on the film adaptation of On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous.”

Founded in 2012, A24 is based in New York and has been at the helm of a plethora of feature films, documentaries and TV series, some of which are critically acclaimed — Room (2015), Moonlight (2016), Lady Bird (2017), among others. In its repertoire, the studio has undertaken some major projects centered on the life and story of Asian Americans. Lulu Wang’s The Farewell (2019) explores the dynamics of a Chinese family while the upcoming Minari (2021) delves into the family history of Korean-American immigrants.

Few details are available at the moment regarding the On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous film adaptation, but it will probably revolve around the Vietnamese-American experience. The book is a nonlinear story told through letters addressed to his mother from the protagonist Little Dog. The format might not translate well into film, but the subject materials woven by Ocean Vuong would no doubt provide ample emotional gravity for the movie.

Released in June 2019, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is the debut novel of poet and essayist Ocean Vuong. His debut poetry collection, Night Sky With Exit Wound, won the 2017 T.S. Eliot Prize and a Whiting Award.

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