There There: A novel
In his stunning debut novel, There There, Tommy Orange explores today’s urban Native American through the narratives of twelve memorable characters, all planning to attend the Big Oakland Powwow. When Tony’s drug supplier, Octavio, comes to him needing help with a debt, Tony gets caught up in a risky robbery scheme. Dene is mourning his uncle’s death and launches a video project documenting Native American stories in his honor. After Opal’s niece committed suicide, she became the caretaker of her three great-nephews; the oldest, Orvil, has taught himself traditional Indian dances in secret. Opal’s sister Jacquie is still grieving over a long-ago decision but begins to feel hopeful after reconnecting with someone from her past. The powwow is organized by Edwin, an overweight Internet-obsessed man who has begun to find purpose since the Indian Center hired him, and Blue, who fled from an abusive marriage and is curious about the identities of her birth parents.
Orange begins his novel with a brief yet powerful prologue that delves into the horrifying acts of whites against natives. The rest of the book then points to the lasting effects of this racism in lyrical, intimate, and honest prose. Orange’s characters are wholly compelling, each one wonderfully distinct and complex. There There slowly builds to a heartstopping and devastating final act that does not disappoint. This indelible book is an absolute must-read.
Chris Hayden has been working at City Book Review since 2012, so that makes him the keeper of knowledge. He manages the office and book reviewers (all 200 of them!), which is no small feat. If you’re looking at the book reviews here, you’re seeing them because he sent the books out for review. Without him, this place would fall apart, because no one else in the office knows how to use the postage machine. Two words: job security.
|Page Count||304 pages|
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