Written as a letter from Little Dog, a writer in his late twenties, to his abusive Vietnamese mother, this novel portrays a love as destructive as it is redemptive. Little Dog ruminates on their minefield of a relationship as he attempts to form his own bond with Trevor, a boy he meets on the tobacco farm he works for. It’s a novel of transience, of anger which doesn’t last yet endures a lifetime, and of a deep-seated regret that transcends individual lives.

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, by Ocean Vuong. Published by Penguin Press. The editor is Ann Godoff, and the agent is Frances Coady. On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is a finalist for the Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBTQ Fiction, administered by the Publishing Triangle and Ferro-Grumley Literary Awards; the winner will be announced on April 30. (WRITTEN BY JERRY WHEELER.)