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"This is a novel about what it means to inhabit a land both yours and stolen from you, to simultaneously contend with the weight of belonging and unbelonging. There is an organic power to this book - a revelatory, controlled chaos. Tommy Orange writes the way a storm makes landfall." (Omar El Akkad, author of American War)
Tommy Orange's "groundbreaking, extraordinary" (The New York Times) There There is the "brilliant, propulsive" (People Magazine) story of 12 unforgettable characters, Urban Indians living in Oakland, California, who converge and collide on one fateful day. It's "the year's most galvanizing debut novel" (Entertainment Weekly).
As we learn the reasons that each person is attending the Big Oakland Powwow - some generous, some fearful, some joyful, some violent - momentum builds toward a shocking yet inevitable conclusion that changes everything. 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 will perform 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 loss.
There There is a wondrous and shattering portrait of an America few of us have ever seen. It's "masterful...white-hot...devastating" (The Washington Post) at the same time as it is fierce, funny, suspenseful, thoroughly modern, and impossible to pause. Here is a voice we have never heard - a voice full of poetry and rage, exploding onto the page with urgency and force. Tommy Orange has written 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. This is the book that everyone is talking about right now, and it's destined to be a classic.
Audible Editors Get to Know Tommy Orange at BookExpo 2018
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By gwandelia on 06-25-18
The word, "stunning", is often used to denote, "good looking" person/art/attire. But here it means for me this shocking reality of the cruelty we humans can and do inflict on each other. First couple of chapters, my breath is withheld with the very early history lesson explained in the book; my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, ultimately shattered. Then, each character, of which there are many, hammers the reader with the inequalities and injustices that exist for all indigenous people, tho specifically native americans here. I'm reluctant to used even that term to identify. This is a harsh story of painful realities in my country and it's incredibly well written. This is not news for me but I grew up comfortable and white in a stable family, so I make it a point to peel back the layers with books like this one. It's powerful. It's provocative. It made me cry. The narrators were very good. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in relearning some American history and making sure they can see truth exposed.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful
By Kat - Audible on 06-12-18
A gorgeous, white-hot debut
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie once gave a TED talk called “The Danger of the Single Story,” outlining the negative effects of reducing complex people and histories to the same narrow, well-worn narrative. I’m convinced that her heart will swell, like mine, at the arrival of Tommy Orange’s incendiary first novel. Written—and narrated—from the perspectives of many characters, whose lives intersect in unexpected and technically impressive ways, the connected stories pay profound attention to the individual experiences of urban Native Americans. And yet for all its depth of purpose and history, it’s absolutely un-put-downable. Visionary, mind-bendingly virtuosic, and racing to a searing finish, There Thereis a work of sacred intensity. I’m still reeling.
20 of 21 people found this review helpful