Author Flooded With Questions After Excerpt In HSC Exam Baffled Students

What does it all mean?

Article heading image for Author Flooded With Questions After Excerpt In HSC Exam Baffled Students

Acclaimed Vietnamese-American author Ocean Vuong. Credit: Ocean Vuong Instagram

New South Wales Year 12 students are harassing an acclaimed Vietnamese-American author after an excerpt from their work was included in their HSC Paper 1 English exam. 

Students have flooded Ocean Vuong social pages asking what the excerpt from his 2019 novel On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous, included in the exam, meant. 

The narrative centres on a young Vietnamese boy growing up in America. It has a non-linear plot, very expressive language and abstract ideas. 

The portion students had to analyse was a scene where the protagonist plucked grey hairs from his grandmother as she read stories to him. 

Hours after the exam, the social bombardment began, prompting Vuong's hilarious response on Instagram. 

“Yo, what the hell is and HSC exam and why are all of y‘all failing it?” he wrote on Instagram Stories.

Students asked, "Ok, but what did your text meannnn???? Little dog? Grey hairs????"

Another said, "All I ask is why" whilst another accused the author of being the reason they are not getting into uni. 

"You're the reason I'm not getting into uni," they said.

Things got funnier when Vuong shared screenshots of the messages coming through, including one from a student's mother!

Vuong found it all very humorous, posting many of the DMs received to his Instagram Stories. He even offered up some tips to a student who asked, "Bro the second English one is tomorrow you got any knowledge on king henry iv part 1?"

Join Tom Tilley with regular rotating co-hosts Jan Fran, Annika Smethurst and Jamila Rizvi  on The Briefing, Monday - Saturday, for the day's headlines and breaking news as well as hot topics and interviews.  Available on Listnr.

Hit News Team

10 November 2021

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