There There by Tommy Orange

There There

Fierce, angry, funny, heartbreaking—Tommy Orange’s 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, eac...

Details There There

TitleThere There
Release DateJun 5th, 2018
GenreFiction, Literary Fiction, Contemporary, Adult

Reviews There There

  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Amy Morgan
    Thank you Edelweiss for my review copy of this book. Told from the points of view of several different individuals in the Native american community all of them are coming to the pow wow for their own reasons. None of them know the horrific chain of events that is about to happen once they are there. Each individual there has their own demons that they have come to face, or to try and make right a past wrong or to discover a part of their heritage...
  • Drew
    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 ...
  • Mary Lins
    I just finished "There There", by Tommy Orange and I’m so glad to have read it - though sometimes it was difficult:This book will make you sad - read it anyway.This book will make you mad - read it anyway.This book will remind you of the lies we were taught as children - read it to remember.This book will remind you not to tell those lies anymore - read it to know the truth.This book will make you smile – know hope.This book will ruin Thanksg...
  • Renata
    oh my gosh, this is so good. It's a novel told through an interlinking set of stories/chapters about a large cast of characters, all of whom are American Indians, and I found each character so compelling that I was simultaneously mad and excited every time a POV changed, I'd read a full book about each of them individually. UGH so beautiful on a sentence level and so powerful on a story level.
  • Creager
    Dene Oxendene’s uncle has died leaving him with a camera and the ambitious idea of a culture's identity. He sets out to interview Native Americans and in There There, Tommy Orange achieves this on a broader scale with the hard-hitting truths of a deculturized people and celebratory thanksgiving dinners. There There reaches thundering heights when bullets made at our own Black Hills Ammunition travels cross-country to intersect with so many peop...
  • Blue Tarpalechee
    Buckle up.Here's the TL;DR for mobile users standing in the bookstore, waffling in front of the flashy agent orange display: buy this book.Tommy Orange’s novel is so tight and polished that it’s easy to forget this is his debut. The smart prose is presented through unflinching, honest characters in a momentum building narrative whose climax is as satisfying as it is brutal.The book has immense heart and never strays outside of it despite expl...
  • Misha
    Wow. What a debut. A novel in stories, introducing and reintroducing you to the characters, about Urban Indians in Oakland, California. There are so many lines I will need to track down again--just so much dark, true brilliance here. The characters all converge at a powwow in the end, and when the story ends, you are heartbroken--you want to know what happens next. Just so, so powerful."The chip you carry has to do with being born and raised in O...
  • Rod Brown
    Wow! A seemingly straightforward story about separate Native American people coming together at a powwow in Oakland, California, becomes richer and more complex as their individual narratives start to reveal a web of connections between the characters. Reaching back decades to the Native American occupation of Alcatraz and coming to a head with a crime planned for the present day gathering, the story is full of anger, bitterness, love and joy as ...
  • Christina Marroquin
    Hands down the best thing I’ve read this year.
  • Danny Caine
    Tommy Orange’s There There is an ambitious and downright stunning debut novel. With care and cleverness, Orange traces several characters young and old as they converge upon the Big Oakland Powwow. Through their occasionally converging lives, Orange paints the most vivid picture of urban Indian life I’ve ever seen in fiction. The fun of reading There There comes from tracing the connections between the characters. As the book progresses, ever...
  • Arianna Rebolini
    Absolutely astounding. Distinct characters written with great care and humanity, lyrical prose juxtaposed with honest voices. A gutting story of identity, history, and fate.
  • Laura
    An absolutely breathtaking collection of interwoven fictional stories about the modern Native American experience in the city of Oakland. Do yourself a favor and immediately read this incredible novel! Tommy Orange's debut is not to be missed!
  • Sudalu
    There are pieces of history that are glossed over and as an adult your heart hurts with the knowledge of what has happened to people in history and present day that make our society what it is today.This is so true with There There. The plight of the American Indians from the early days of the Colonists to present day is a story of a tragic struggle. From King Philip's War to the real struggle of a strong group of people who have been batted down...
  • Kathleen Van Vickle
    This book took me a little while to digest. The novel is the story of 12 separate individual's path to the Big Oakland Pow-wow. Each chapter is that person's story told in a distinct individual's voice. The prologue and the first chapter slap you in the face, and it just gets better from there. Using a different voice per chapter is not an entirely new or unique literary device, but the author used it to great advantage. It really opened up my ey...
  • Latkins
    I was blown away by this novel, which charts the experiences of many different Native people in present day America, in an urban environment. The way it synthesises lots of different voices to form one narrative, culminating in a powwow in California, reminded me a little of All Involved by Ryan Gattis. There are a number of terribly sad stories, as some characters struggle with addiction and some turn to crime due to poverty; and there are also ...
  • Ilyssa Wesche
    This book was largely the reason I trekked down to Philly for PA. I'm glad I did! Each chapter is told from a different person's perspective, which I always love, and their characters are so well-written that they're all well-rounded and fleshed out by the book's end. (There are a LOT of people to keep track of, but I muddled through.) I felt like I understood everyone's backstory enough to also understand their present and why things ended up th...
  • Abby Johnson
    From the moment I picked up this book I didn't want to stop reading. It's a character-centered story with an ensemble cast of Native Americans in Oakland, CA. I want to compare it to something, but it's unlike anything I've read. For readers who like character-driven books or literary urban fiction, this is a must-read. (Coming in June!)
  • Kalen
    I was thinking this one would be a 4.5 until I approach the last quarter of the book. My only quibble with this is that I had a hard time keeping characters straight. I want to re-read this book in print--I think it's too powerful and there is too much subtlety to fully get it with an eBook. I now understand what all the buzz is about. Buy this book.
  • Emily Whitmore
    This book is one of my favorites for the year, and I knew it right way. Orange weaves a traditional story narrative and essays beautifully; he breaks into the story in just the right places to deliver a punch to reader. The power of the writing is only one part of what makes it perfect. The stories told from different characters with distinct voices was my second favorite part.
  • Jalen NeSmith
  • Kristen Beverly
    Beautiful writing and a hard-hitting, impactful ending. Definitely left me wanting more. Can’t wait to see what comes next from Tommy Orange.
  • Lisa Erickson
    This was more of a 2.5.....
  • Racheal
    4.5 stars. Beautifully written (I kept taking screenshots until I realized I was basically screenshotting the whole book), moving, and with absolutely top notch observations about people. The author makes you care about the characters swiftly and wholly, even the people who would traditionally be the villains; no one's a monolith and no one exists independent of their history and their trauma. My enjoyment was only dampened by a few awkward trans...
  • Diane Payne
    Up until the ending, I was certain this would be a five-star book, and I may change it later. I just finished the book, so it's hard to forget the ending. I loved the characters, the writing, the wry humor, the connection of lost parents and children, the brutal honesty. Unfortunately, I didn't like the brutal ending, and I don't want to be a spoiler alert. I was wishing there had been another way out, a way unlike how so many situations are curr...
  • Lillian
    This book is incredible.I don't even know where to begin to praise it. All I can say is read it - just read it!
  • lisa
    I hope that this book is the start of something great for Native writers the world over. For too long we have gotten by with having our stories reflected in a small handful of Native writers deemed acceptable by the white world. Writers like Tommy Orange and Terese Marie Mailhot could be the first in a tide of others to come.Orange's novel is about urban Natives in Oakland, California. This is a novel that shows the stories of many Native people ...