There There by Tommy Orange

Staff Pick

Drawing the title from Gertrude Stein’s often misunderstood remark about Oakland, “there’s no there there,” Tommy Orange in his tremendous There There (Knopf, $25.95) wants “to bring something new to the vision of the Native experience” by presenting the untold and as yet unstereotyped “Urban Indian story.” He brilliantly accomplishes this in twelve vivid interwoven profiles that tap into the “real passion…and rage” of Native Americans in contemporary Oakland. Powerful and moving, these virtuoso narratives bring us into the lives of children and grandparents, single mothers and drug thugs, recovering alcoholics and victims of abuse. All have complicated relationships with their heritage. Some are members of one or more specific nations, others don’t know where they belong. Some are always conscious of their identity, others feel Indian only when dressed in Indian regalia. For many, their heritage is too easily confused with patronizing images. Through intimate and urgent stories Orange recovers the “there” of a Native history that’s “been paved over.” At the same time he emphatically ends American Indians’s long struggle “to be recognized as a present-tense people, modern and relevant.”

There There: A novel By Tommy Orange Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525520375
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf - June 5th, 2018