There There by Tommy Orange

There There

Jacquie Red Feather and her sister Opal grew up together, relying on each other during their unsettled childhood. As adults they were driven apart, but Jacquie is newly sober and trying to make it back to the family she left behind. That’s why she is there.Dene is there because he has been collecting stories to honour his uncle's death. Edwin is looking for his true father. Opal came to watch her boy Orvil dance. All of them are connected by bo...

Details There There

TitleThere There
Release DateJul 5th, 2018
PublisherHarvill Secker
GenreFiction, Literary Fiction, Contemporary, Adult

Reviews There There

  • Emily May
    "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 wor...
  • Elyse
    5+++++ stars!!!!! Absolutely phenomenal!!!!!“There There” is a non-stop pace story... COULD NOT PUT THIS DOWN....The stories in here are gut wrenching *intimate* about dislocation-identify-violence -loss-hope-and power. “We have been defined by everyone else and continue to be slandered despite easy-to-look-up-Internet-facts about realities of our histories and current state as a people”. The despair and beauty in Tommy Orange’s debut ...
  • Angela M
    Before I even finished reading this, I began hoping that Tommy Orange was already working on his next book. Beautifully written, creatively and skillfully structured with the stories of multiple characters, each one important and affecting on their own, but when meshed with connections that unfold I was blown away. For a short time these narratives seem like individual stories until one by one the characters become connected and their collective ...
  • Matthew Quann
    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 ...
  • Rick Riordan
    Tommy Orange's debut novel is already getting a lot of love, but I have to chime in with my praise, too. For one thing, There, There is set in Oakland, where I lived for most of the 90s, and reading it brought back a lot of memories. The author hits us with a buckshot blast of wonderful characters, self-described "Urban Indians," each with his/her own short, interwoven chapters. We follow their interconnected lives as they prepare for the first B...
  • Rose (Traveling Sister)
    How could I give this poetic 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...
  • Diane S ☔
    Dene Oxedene, putting his life back together after his uncle's death, wins a grant, allowing him to video stories from those attending the Oakland Pow Wow. In alternating voices we follow the lives and stories of twelve different characters, many who have fallen on hard times of one kind or another. So in a way, these are connected, though the same people appear more than once, short episodes in the lives of those who have lost touch with their c...
  • Myrna
    Fantastic!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, th...
  • Ron Charles
    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 survi...
  • Hannah
    This debut is absolutely 100% incredible. Marlon James called it a thunderclap and I have to agree. This might be my favourite read of the year so far. And as is often the case when I adore a book this much, writing a review does not come particularly easy because I want to do it justice without just reverting to hyperboles.This book is told from 12 widely different perspectives that converge on the Big Oakland Powwow, and also includes some non-...
  • Jennifer
    Powerful, heartbreaking, and absolutely necessary. In the age of #blacklivesmatter and #metoo, we cannot forget about the Native American population who have been criminally ignored. There There is specifically about the people considered 'Urban Indians': the generation born in the city as a result of both voluntary and involuntary relocation of their ancestors (Indian Relocation Act/Indian Termination Policy). “Plenty of us are urban now. If n...
  • Lark Benobi
    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 the...
  • Rincey
    Wow wow wow
  • Jessica Woodbury
    In THERE THERE, Orange sets out his task from the beginning: he is going to write the stories of the urban Indian. These are not the stories of reservation life, they are not the stories of the old ways. These are the stories of conflict, of the search for identity, of struggle with poverty and addiction and loss, of family and community growing despite the concrete. In these connected stories of Native Americans (Orange, like many Natives uses t...
  • Trish
    This novel references Gertrude Stein’s comment about her memories of Oakland, CA, “there is no there there,” upon discovering her family home was taken down to accommodate an office park. I think the characters in this book would say it differently, that there is indeed something in Oakland, home of the fictional Big Oakland Powwow with which it concludes.Distinct Indian voices tell a story about their lives, whatever they want to tell and ...
  • Jennifer Blankfein
    So much sorrow as the characters in There There seek connection and struggle with identity…an honest and important debut!Author Tommy Orange gives us a window into Native American Indian suffering and challenges with skill. We follow more than a dozen characters, hearing their stories as they prepare to attend a major Pow Wow, a coming together of Natives from all over. As we know, their land was taken away from them, but most have never lived ...
  • David Joy
    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 a...
  • Meike
    Aaahhh, what a time to be a reader! First things first: Tommy Orange wrote a fantastic book, it is so strong, powerful, moving and enjoyable, and there's a whole bunch of people you will want to hit over the head with its wisdom (or with a physical copy of the book, for a start). Orange introduces us to more than a dozen Native Americans - men and women, young and old -, all of whom share a connection to Oakland and prepare to go to a big powwow ...
  • Emily
    4.5 starsOkay, so, WOW. This was an incredibly ambitious book, and Orange pulls it off.This reads almost like a short story collection. Each chapter focuses on a different character (each character does get an additional chapter later in the book), and the characters' lives are woven together through relationships and through an upcoming event--the Big Oakland Powwow. It felt reminiscent of Yaa Gyasi's Homegoing, which I also loved. Each characte...
  • Erin Glover
    I can't think of a novel that needed to be written more than this one. And more than that, needs to be read by everyone in the US. Because Native Americans [have] been defined by everyone else and continue to be slandered despite easy-to-look-up-on-the-internet facts about the realities of our histories and current state as a people.The story centers around a powwow that will take place in Oakland. The Native Americans that will attend have rich ...
  • Justin
    Tommy Orange’s first novel had some promise in the beginning. It looked like he had some interesting things to say and some heavy topics to discuss. He had a lot of characters to introduce and several stories to tell. He had ideas, but he wasn’t able to effectively put them down on paper. There There just isn’t written very well. It’s pretty sloppy. It takes concepts other authors have pulled off in the past, throws them all out there tog...
  • Jill
    What does it mean to be a Native American—often invisible in the U.S. tapestry? Documentary filmmaker Dene Oxendene, one of a dozen characters whom we meet in this book, gives his take about the Gertrude Stein quote about Oakland (“There is no there there.”) Dene’s words: “This there there. He hadn’t read Gertrude Stein beyond the quote. But for Native people in this country, all over the Americas, it’s been developed over, buried a...
  • Cheri
    ” Sing itHey boy, give your dreams a restIf you're tired of searching this is where it endsThere's nothing left to loseNothing to protestLearn to love your anger nowAnger here is all you possess.Welcome to the edge.“Below the towers of the citadelSeems someone overlooked the cost.Forgotten soldier of ParadiseNow Paradise is lost.Recognition never realizedSalvation lost among the crowdSo tell me here beside the sterile seaWhere is your nation ...
  • Gumble's Yard
    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 authen...
  • Canadian Reader
    “People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them.” —James Baldwin“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 wir...
  • Tammy
    Tommy Orange’s debut novel is just wow. ❤I’m so blown away by it, a must read that should be on everyone’s TBR list. Am already anticipating whatever he brings to the table in the future. Highly recommend. 5 ☆ Tommy Orange’s debut novel is just wow. ❤️I’m so blown away by it, a must read that should be on everyone’s TBR list. Am already anticipating whatever he brings to the table in the future. Highly recommend. 5 ☆
  • Beata
    The novel is exceptional although it is very depressing. I'm not surprised There There has provoked so much discussion with regard to the plight of urban Native Americans trying to rediscover and understand their identity. There There is a definite food for thought!
  • Paul Fulcher
    She likes Edwin. There's something about him that feels like family.There is a lot to like about There There (see e.g. Gumble Yard's review but unfortunately there is a plot to dislike.The most interesting parts of the novel are the commentary in the opening prologue and the interlude but the story of the book itself is ridiculously contrived: one character finds out that he has not just one but two childr...
  • Sarah
    Ehhh. I should start my review by saying this isn't a bad book at all, and I would implore everyone to read it as it really is an important book, profiling a community that isn't often depicted in fiction (except in Sherman Alexie's books). The three stars I've given There There reflects my personal enjoyment of the book, and while I liked it and it was a quick read I didn't really like it.Unless you've been living in a cave for the last few mont...