Reviews

  • "<i>Night Sky With Exit Wounds</i>…startled me with its urgency and its relevance.<b> A eerily sure-footed debut.</b>"

    Observer, Books of the Year
  • "Vuong writes with a <b>piercing, dreamlike clarity</b>."

    Daily Telegraph, Books of the Year
  • "<b>Reading Vuong is like watching a fish move</b>: he manages the varied currents of English with muscled intuition … His lines are both long and short, his pose narrative and lyric, his diction formal and insouciant. <b>From the outside, Vuong has fashioned a poetry of inclusion</b>."

    New Yorker
  • "<b>Ocean Vuong is one of my auto-buy authors. I keep recommending his <i>Night Sky With Exit Wounds </i>to everyone</b>; I can’t shout loud enough about it… I have quite a complicated relationship with what’s considered "classical poetry" but then someone like Ocean Vuong comes along, and <b>he’s doing something so exciting that you can’t help but get caught up in it.</b>"

    Refinery29
  • "The poetry is <b>a conduit for a life in which violence and delicacy collide</b>… I like <b>the fragility, resilience and the sense that the stories that need telling are hardest to tell </b>– a difficulty Ocean Vuong is courageously minded to overcome."

    Observer
  • "There is <b>a powerful emotional undertow to these poems</b> that springs from Mr Vuong’s sincerity and candour, and from <b>his ability to capture specific moments in rime with photographic clarity and a sense of the evanescence of all earthly things</b>."

    New York Times
  • "<b>Ocean Vuong is the Walt Whitman of Vietnamese American literature</b>. Lyrical, expansive, sexual, provocative, he sings of the Vietnamese body and of Vietnamese history."

    Literary Hub
  • "The operatic voice of the book is <b>vulnerable and unpredictable</b>. Some of its strongest poems are also the strangest… It is an impressive, uneven, moving book about painful and important subjects – and is <b>the work of a young poet who might, excitingly, say anything next</b>."

    The Sunday Times
  • "Many of the poems in this, Vuong’s debut collection, achieve lift-off amid comparable scenes of drama and desperation… <b>This is a book full of promise.</b>"

    Literary Review
  • "<b>Vuong writes in what may be one of the most unfashionable modes of recent decades, in the richly meditative style of Rainer Maria Rilke.</b> And, almost unbelievably, he does so successfully… Vuong’s roomy, cool, risky poems are more than promising, and this is<b> an exciting and compelling book.</b>"

    Irish Times
  • "Taking war and cultural upheaval in its stride, <i>Night Sky with Exit Wounds</i> is <b>an assured but open debut collection</b>. It’s accessible to non-poetry readers while offering sufficient depth to keep the experts engaged."

    Evening Standard
  • "<b>If you only read one new book of poetry this year, make it Ocean Vuong’s game-changing debut collection.</b> <i>Night Sky With Exit Wounds</i> is breathtakingly beautiful, gut-wrenching and sublime… <b>Phenomenal.</b>"

    Attitude
  • "<b>One of the most extraordinary first collections of poems in recent memory</b>… The poems sear through the heart, <b>Vuong finding the words and feelings to capture moments with complete clarity</b>."

    Cent
  • "His style is <b>not unlike a wall of sounds</b>, a relatively consistent, arrestedly pubescent palette of desire and obsession, <b>turned up high enough to hit the pulse</b>."

    Times Literary Supplement
  • "From its opening lines...<b>the book brims with precise, surreal, erotic imagery</b>… Vuong authoritatively lays claim to a range of symbols and tropes... Vuong possesses a large and unusual imagination… <b><i>Night Sky with Exit Wounds</i> is a remarkable debut</b>. Where Vuong is headed is anyone’s guess, but you’ll want to go with him."

    New Statesman
  • "<b>Vuong’s intimate lyrical voice, his precise, stark imagery and engagement with gay sexuality construct a familiar story of loss</b>… Balancing memory and silence with erudition, Vuong’s poetry resists being so easily pinned down… <b>Vuong’s poems, written with intelligence and tenderness, offer new spaces for becoming</b>."

    Guardian
  • "His debut collection, praised for its “precise, stark” imagery, can be read both as a personal story – of gay sexuality, absent fathers and hyphenated identities – and as <b>a highly erudite exploration of poetry’s possibilities</b>."

    Irish Times
  • "His debut collection, <i>Night Sky With Exit Wounds</i>, is the work of a man with history on his back, even if he has had to imagine some of it into being again. <b>He brings a mythmaker’s insistence on being seen and heard</b> to subjects ranging from the death of Telemachus’s father, from Homeric myth, to the fall of Saigon and common-or-garden masturbation."

    Guardian
  • "Vuong’s words writhe and spin – <b>his use of English is astonishing</b>. He’s a smelter at his poetry, making words transform into something other than letters and meaning…. His <b>gay love poems are stark, beautiful and utterly unnerving in their uncompromising adoration</b>… <b>A magical journey into Vuong’s imagination and talents and an astonishing debut collection</b>."

    Gscene
  • "<i>Night Sky With Exit Wounds</i>…contains <b>poems of finely pitched, operatic feeling that unpick the violence and fragility of masculinity with wisdom and humour</b>."

    Sunday Times