There There

There There

Fierce, angry, funny, heartbreaking—Tommy Orange’s first novel is a wondrous and shattering portrait of an America few of us have ever seen, and it introduces a brilliant new author at the start of a major career.

There There is a relentlessly paced multigenerational story about violence and recovery, memory and identity, and the beauty and despair woven into the history of a nation and its people. It tells the story of twelve characters, each of whom have private reasons for traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow. Jacquie Red Feather is newly sober and trying to make it back to the family she left behind in shame. Dene Oxendene is pulling his life back together after his uncle’s death and has come to work at the powwow to honor his uncle’s memory. Opal Viola Victoria Bear Shield has come to watch her nephew Orvil, who has taught himself traditional Indian dance through YouTube videos and has come to the powwow to dance in public for the very first time. There will be glorious communion, and a spectacle of sacred tradition and pageantry. And there will be sacrifice, and heroism, and unspeakable loss.

Here is a voice we have never heard—a voice full of poetry and rage, exploding onto the page with stunning urgency and force. Tommy Orange writes of the plight of the urban Native American, the Native American in the city, in a stunning novel that grapples with a complex and painful history, with an inheritance of beauty and profound spirituality, and with a plague of addiction, abuse, and suicide. An unforgettable debut, destined to become required reading in schools and universities across the country.

Title:There There
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780525520375
Format Type:

About Tommy Orange

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, and currently lives in Angels Camp, California.


    There There Reviews

  • Emily May

    "Don't ever let anyone tell you what being Indian means. Too many of us died to get just a little bit of us here, right now, right in this kitchen." Orange's ambitious debut captures the experience o...

  • Elyse

    5+++++ stars!!!!! Absolutely phenomenal!!!!!“There There” is a non-stop pace story... COULD NOT PUT THIS DOWN....The stories in here are gut wrenching *intimate* about dislocation-identify-violenc...

  • Diane S ?

    Dene Oxedene, putting his life back together after his uncle's death, wins a grant, allowing him to video stories from those attending the Oakland Pow Wow. In alternating voices we follow the lives an...

  • Matthew Quann

    Tommy Orange’s There There is, hands down, my favourite novel of the year thus far. If you came here looking for a scale-tipping review, look no further. In fact, imagine me clearing off any weight ...

  • Myrna

    Fantastic!If you haven’t heard of Tommy Orange yet, you soon will. This is one of those books that you're simultaneously dying to finish yet don't ever want to finish. Orange paints a vivid picture ...

  • Ron Charles

    Toward the end of Tommy Orange’s devastating debut novel, a 4-year-old Native American boy keeps asking his grandma: “What are we? What are we?”The boy has no way of knowing, but that’s a bloo...

  • Rincey

    Wow wow wow ...

  • Jessica Woodbury

    In THERE THERE, Orange sets out his task from the beginning: he is going to write the stories of the urban Indian. These are not the stories of reservation life, they are not the stories of the old wa...

  • Jennifer

    Powerful, heartbreaking, and absolutely necessary. In the age of #blacklivesmatter and #metoo, we cannot forget about the Native American population who have been criminally ignored. There There is sp...

  • David Joy

    If a week ago you’d told me I’d read a novel better than Richard Powers’ The Overstory this year, I’d have said I was doubtful. If you’d told me it would be a debut novel, I’d have said yo...