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 a spectacle of sacred tradition and pageantry. And there will be sacrifice, and heroism, and unspeakable loss. Here is a voice we have never hearda 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....
|Number of Pages||:||304 pages|
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There There Reviews
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
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 on the opposing side and planting my considerable heft on the side favoring your reading of this novel. If you’ve ever picked up a book because of my reviews, then trust me: this is one you’re going to want in your hands posthaste. There There is a novel we’ll be seeing crop up on best-of and award sh ...more
An extraordinary publicity campaign has vaulted this novel into a space where its readers will come to it with goodwill, and by reading it they will be participating in a momentary, shared cultural event--increasingly rare in the modern world--of reading the same thing at the same time; and they can experience the act of reading it with many other literary readers who care about language and story, and collectively they can bring to the novel their experiences and expectations (and their simple ...more
This novel is explosive, disarming, and unflinchingly passionate. Indigenous debut author, Tommy Orange, doesn't just emerge on the literary scene, he's kicked down the door. Readers will be gripped immediately and compelled to finish this astonishing work in one sitting. I could not bear to put it down, the rhythm of his work kept escalating, unrelenting, carrying the reader on a tidal wave of passion, much like the frenzied drumming mentioned in his novel. Set in Oakland California, There Ther ...more
5+ out of 5.
What a novel. What a *debut* novel.
A searing, heartwrenching look at the Native population, at gun violence, at the poverty epidemic and the opioid epidemic and the obesity epidemic and and and -- and how all these things affect the Native population. What's more, it's told in truly polyphonic terms: chapters swap between tenses and characters, with the kind of narration that stops you in your tracks.
I loved this book and found that it earned every single payoff. I can't wait for yo ...more
Brilliant, important and powerful, and the way Orange overlays the past onto the present-day pow wow scenes left me ugly crying.
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 in short chapters through different points of view as the story unfolds. The powwow becomes the centerpiece of the story with the dozen or so characters eventually heading toward it. The characters and their storylines drew me in and made me care, though not all are likable. I grew attached to a lot o ...more
Wow wow wow