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By Julia Broder 

1. “On Earth We Are Briefly Gorgeous” by Ocean Vuong 

Ocean Vuong’s semi-autobiographical novel is not so much a departure from the author’s previous book of poems; it is a burst of artistic evolution. Written as a letter from a first-generation, queer son to his working-class, Vietnamese mother, it is neither a public expiation or condemnation of past behaviors . The novel is a beautiful mediation on how our lives, and their stories, are necessary parts of our survival.  

2. “The Topeka School” by Ben Lerner

Ben Lerner’s third novel is psychologically profound and socially

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