There There-pb

SKU: 9780771073038

Tommy Orange
Grade Levels:
Twelve, College, University
Arapaho, Cheyenne
Book Type:
McClelland & Stewart
Copyright Date:

Sale price$21.00


There There: A Novel by Tommy Orange delves into the world of Native American urban population and presents the life stories of twelve men, women, and youth all on their way to the Big Oakland Powwow. The author’s debut novel examines the lives and cultural background of contemporary Indigenous people all searching for their personal identities. Among the characters are a small group bent on robbing the powwow organizers who threaten to bomb the venue.  Tommy Orange is a recent graduate from the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. He is a 2014 MacDowell Fellow, and a 2016 Writing by Writers Fellow. He is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma. He was born and raised in Oakland, California. This novel was shortlisted for the esteemed Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction from the American Library Association 2019 award. There There is a clever reference to Gertrude Stein’s line about the city of her childhood, Oakland, California. She wrote, “there is no there there”, and because Oakland happens to be Tommy Orange’s home town and the powwow location this title provides makes an ideal choice.  Some readers may find the number of characters overwhelming but Indigenous readers will see no issue because the Urban Indian category is populated with a range of identities not a single stereotypical character. Each individual brings their own stories and issues and travel from great distances to participate in this unique first-time powwow. Some characters have connections from their past and others their own private issues but this event will be more than they ever dreamed it would be. The narrative moves at a fast humour-filled pace and holds the reader’s attention until the devastating finale. A must-read novel engages and captivates with a tale that would make an ideal movie script for First Nation and Native American actors. Highly recommended. Mature themes and strong language.

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