Fierce, angry, funny, heartbreakingTommy Oranges 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 uncles death and has come to work at the powwow to honor his uncles 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 ...
|Number of Pages||:||304 pages|
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There There Reviews
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 you were out of your mind. Nevertheless, here I am reading a book for a second time in two days and the only word I can come up with is flawless.
Tommy Orange’s There There lives up to every bit of the hype. It’s marvelous. It’s stunning. It’s absolutely masterful. I haven’t read a debut novel that I thought shoul ...more
“People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them.”
“The wound that was made when white people came and took what they took has never healed. An untended wound gets infected. Becomes a new kind of wound like the history of what actually happened became a new kind of history.”
“For Native people in this country, all over the Americas, it’s been developed over, buried ancestral land, glass and concrete and wire and steel, unreturnable covered memory. There is no there ther ...more
Believe the hype. Orange employs a complex interconnected plural-voice structure to illustrate the multi-faceted legacies of colonisation and genocide for Native Americans. This glorious book is full of rage, hope and loss. It’s powerful and builds at a relentless pace to its stunning conclusion. The only book I can compare it to is HOMEGOING. It’s a force.
"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 of modern "urban Indians" through constantly shifting third person perspectives, ultimately showing that Native Americans are not a monolith, not a stereotype, not united under a single identity.
The author takes a number of risks, and yet they all work to create a book of such extreme power that it' ...more
We all came to the Big Oakland Powwow for different reasons. The messy, dangling strands of our lives got pulled into a braid - tied to the back of everything we’d been done no to get us here. We’ve been coming from miles. And we’ve been coming from years, generations, lifetimes, layered in prayer and handwoven regalia, beaded and sewn together, feathered, braided blessed and cursed.
This astonishing debut novel draws its power and authenticity from the author’s own experiences but is told in ...more
How could I give this prosaic tapestry of cultural politics any fewer than 5 stars?
"She told me the world was made of stories, nothing else, just stories, and stories about stories."
That's exactly what There There consists of: the abridged life timelines of a diverse yet interwoven cast of characters - young and old, good and bad, but all Native American. The Big Oakland Powwow is drawing tribe members from all over, not just for the various prize money but also as an opportunity to connect with ...more
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 blood-soaked question that Western invaders have made Indians ask themselves for centuries. Exiled, dispersed, murdered, robbed, mocked, appropriated and erased, Native Americans have been forced to define themselves amid unrelenting assault. Their survival, their failure and their resilience in modern-day Amer ...more
If you were fortunate enough to be born into a family whose ancestors directly benefited from genocide and/ or slavery, maybe you think the more you don’t know, the more innocent you can stay, which is a good incentive to not find out, to not look too deep, to walk carefully around the sleeping tiger. Look no further than your last name. Follow it back and you might find your line paved with gold, or beset with traps.
In a book about many things - the experience of the urban Native, the gentrifi ...more