We thought no novel would ever wound us like Hanya Yanagihara's A Little Life, that is until On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong fell into our laps. Oh, how we cried. Now it appears we're about to repeat the experience; A24 has a film adaptation of the book in the works and Ocean Vuong has just finished the script.
News of the adaptation hit our ears in December 2020 during an episode of The A24 Podcast where Ocean Vuong and fellow author Bryan Washington conversed about their novels, publishing and queerness. What followed was virtually radio silence. That is until yesterday, when Ocean Vuong uploaded a picture of the completed script and its title page to his Instagram stories, which largely went unnoticed due to the hubbub around the 2022 Met Gala. So for those who were wondering if this dream adaptation was stilling swirling on the horizon, here is your answer.
What is On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous about?
Some of us are yet to plunge into the poet's semi-autobiographical novel. But if A24 stay true to the original storyline, expect a narrative that takes shape as a letter penned to the narrator's mother who cannot read. Throughout, the protagonist known as Little Dog slowly reveals his family history, one rooted in the violence and upheaval of the Vietnam War. This serves as context for his own relationship with his mother, and through the added lens of race, class and queerness, Vuong renders his upbringing in Connecticut with a lyricism that will make you heartsick.
Naturally, our only question aside from a release date, is who should be cast in the role of Little Dog? Personally, I imagined Trevor as Connor Swindells from Sex Education and as for Rose, we only hope Linh Dan Pham or Michelle Yeoh will be considered.
For more details on the adaptation of On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous, watch this space.