There There by Tommy Orange
Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
Pub Date: June 05, 2018
"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 twelve 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 to 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 put down. 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.
"Bravura... There There has so much jangling energy and brings so much news from a distinct corner of American life that it's a revelation... its appearance marks the passing of a generational baton."
-- Dwight Garner, The New York Times
"A rush of intensity and fervor... Bursting with talent and big ideas... Funny and profane and conscious of the violence that runs like a scar through American culture."
-- Jeff Baker, The Seattle Times
"A new kind of American epic... one that reflects his ambivalence and the complexity of [Orange's] upbringing."
--Alexandra Alter, The New York Times
"Masterful. White-hot. A devastating debut novel."
-- Ron Charles, The Washington Post
"A gripping deep dive into urban indigenous community in California: an astonishing literary debut!"
-- Margaret Atwood, via Twitter
"Welcome to a brilliant and generous artist who has already enlarged the landscape of American Fiction. THERE THERE is a comic vision haunted by profound sadness. Tommy Orange is a new writer with an old heart."
-- Louise Erdrich
"THERE THERE drops on us like a thunderclap; the big, booming, explosive sound of 21st century literature finally announcing itself. Essential."
-- Marlon James, author of A Brief History of Seven Killings
" There There is a miraculous achievement, a book that wields ferocious honesty and originality in service of telling a story that needs to be told. 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
" There There is an urgent, invigorating, absolutely vital book by a novelist with more raw virtuosic talent than any young writer I've come across in a long, long time. Maybe ever. Tommy Orange is a stylist with substance, a showboater with a deeply moral compass. I want to call him heir to Gertrude Stein by way of George Saunders, but he is even more original than that. This book will make your heart swell."
-- Claire Vaye Watkins
"This is Tommy Orange. Remember his name. His book's gonna blow the roof off."
-- Pam Houston
"A symphonic debut...Engrossing... There There introduces an exciting voice."
"Commanding...The propulsion of both the overall narrative and its players are breathtaking as Orange unpacks how decisions of the past mold the present, resulting in a haunting and gripping story."
-- Publishers Weekly
"Visceral... A chronicle of domestic violence, alcoholism, addiction, and pain, the book reveals the perseverance and spirit of the characters... Unflinching candor... Highly recommended."
-- Library Journal
"Kaleidoscopic... In this vivid and moving book, Orange articulates the challenges and complexities not only of Native Americans, but also of America itself."