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There There

Orange, Tommy, 1982- Book - 2018 Adult Book / Fiction / General / Orange, Tommy, Fiction / Orange, Tommy None on shelf 27 requests on 13 copies Community Rating: 4.3 out of 5

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Twelve Native Americans came to the Big Oakland Powwow for different reasons. Jacquie Red Feather is newly sober and trying to make it back to the family she left behind in shame. Dene Oxedrene is pulling his life together after his uncle's death and has come to work the powwow and to honor his uncle's memory. Edwin Frank has come to find his true father. Bobby Big Medicine has come to drum the Grand Entry. Opal Viola Victoria Bear Shield has come to watch her nephew Orvil Red Feather; Orvil has taught himself Indian dance through YouTube videos, and he has come to the powwow to dance in public for the very first time. Tony Loneman is a young Native American boy whose future seems destined to be as bleak as his past, and he has come to the Powwow with darker intentions--intentions that will destroy the lives of everyone in his path. Tommy Orange delivers a wondrous and shattering portrait of an America few of us have ever seen. A multi-generational, relentlessly paced story about violence and recovery, hope and loss, identity and power, dislocation and communion, and the beauty and despair woven into the history of a nation and its people.

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COMMUNITY REVIEWS

Nice. submitted by MadMonkeyZ on June 23, 2018, 2:59pm What does it really mean to be an Indian/Native American/American Indian/Native? Orange's vivid debut novel allows a unique cast of characters—ranging from teenagers to elders living in Oakland, California—to pull this question apart for themselves as they live within an urban ecosystem.

Fly Like an Arrow, Sting Like a Wasp submitted by nbauer on January 4, 2019, 8:57pm It's tough to pull off multiple points of view, but Tommy Orange does it. Rather than attempt the obvious, with different speech patterns for each character (and there are about a dozen with voices), he makes sure that we know who's talking because of the things that they notice, and how they map to their individual experiences. The novel is like a crazy quilt, stitched together in a way that is beautiful because of its randomness, not despite it. He sets the stage with context, a brief, utterly subjective tour of Native history that never feels preachy or afterschool special-esque. And the last of the book's four section, Pow-wow, absolutely races to its conclusion. Orange's voice is muscular, vibrant, bracing, and true.

Book submitted by Clown81 on August 31, 2019, 8:26pm You got that.

I thought if I gave it a couple of days... submitted by sushai on July 14, 2020, 5:02pm ...I might come up with a good way to share my thoughts on this book. I don't think I'll be able to convey how this cut to the bone. The story, the writing, the characters all so compelling. The sense of dread, the sense of hope, the empathy were so real. So many times I wanted to talk with someone else about the book, to see if they were getting the same sort of goosebumps and to ask "what do you think" and "do you think he [the author] did that on purpose" questions. Toward the end I know I was reading too fast because I wanted to know what would happen, and the chapters were enabling that by getting shorter and shorter! I think a second read would be a good idea.

Understanding submitted by teri on August 3, 2020, 2:54pm This can be the beginning of understanding the plight of Native Americans in our country today. Read it slowly. Then read more on Native American history - told by natives. The Great Lakes area is a good place to start. Good job, Tommy Orange.

Stays with you submitted by severian on July 23, 2021, 2:30pm Maybe the best book I read this year -- everything about it is masterful. I've read the ending multiple times since then. It's a book that really stays with you.

Very worth the read. submitted by vclinton on August 21, 2022, 1:03pm The writing style was engaging, the characters keep your interest. It's also just heart wrenching - helped me better understand that Native populations are fighting to even be recognized as a present-day population.

Surprised and Impressed submitted by Ann H Kim on July 6, 2023, 11:49am I'd heard so much praise for There There, but I was reluctant to read it thinking that it would be a very heavy "literary" read. To my surprise, the book was practically a page-turner. More like a story collection than a pure novel, I was intrigued by the different POVs and character arcs, and the ending brings it all home. Highly recommend.

Powerful submitted by libbymcfarland on March 19, 2024, 3:00pm Every character has their own spotlight of individualism. I love how this story highlights the bittersweet moments of everyone's backgrounds. The characters are all separate thoughts and slowly merge into one storyline. This book is a painful but wonderful read that touches on vital topics that may be triggering for some people, but I highly recommend it.