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, Contemporary, Literary Fiction, 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 Walters
    Update: Terrific pick!!!! 2018 National Book Award Longlist.... Fiction!!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 curren...
  • 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...
  • 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 ...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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-...
  • 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...
  • Katie
    Massively exciting with what freshness and vitality this emerges from the blocks. The first hundred pages are a joy to read. Fabulous descriptive writing with lots of relatable insights into modern life. I liked its anger and humour a lot. There was a documentary on the BBC a while back that followed a few Indians who are on their way to protest at Standing Rock. I was sad I only got to spend an hour with them. They were all compelling individual...
  • Michael
    A collection of interrelated stories set in Oakland, California, There There charts the inner lives of twelve Native Americans as they prepare for the impending Big Oakland Powwow. Orange hops from perspective to perspective, weaving together past and present and exploring what life in Oakland means to each Native character. The best of the chapters are highly affecting, and infuse great storytelling with political purpose; they are fast moving a...
  • 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...
  • Dem
    Any novel that highlights or educates it's readers about a time in history where there was mistreatment of people due to their race religion or beliefs is always worth reading and this book is one of those books. However I am not judging the book on its importance but on how it came across and affected me and unfortunately from page one I didn't connect or engage with either the story or the characters.There There tells the story of twelve charac...
  • 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...
  • j e w e l s [Books Bejeweled]
    FIVE NATIVE STARSOnce again, I am at a loss for words--BECAUSE I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH!! I was 100% invested in the characters and the story. I'm a closet Choctaw (meaning only that I am an enrolled member of the tribe, but not something I broadcast in my everyday life) and I was beyond excited to read a modern Indian story. Yes, as Orange points out, we refer to ourselves as Indian. It's okay. Don't hate on me. Watch out for Tommy Orange. He i...
  • 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 ...
  • Rincey
    Wow wow wow
  • 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...
  • Meike
    Now Nominated for the National Book AwardAaahhh, 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 O...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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...
  • 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!
  • 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 ...
  • 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...
  • Maxwell
    An impressive debut, that deftly handles a large cast of characters, all connected by the Big Oakland Powwow. Through these different narratives, Tommy Orange examines what it means to be Native American in the 21st century. It could be heavy-handed, but he grounds the themes in such vivid stories, in the lives of these characters who feel like they could walk right off the page. I found myself simultaneously sympathizing with, being infuriated w...
  • Ken
    Should a book about Native Americans go on the World Literature shelf? Seems like another world, anyway.Like a comet across the horizon comes Tommy "Where Have You Been?" Orange, a new voice for Native writers, in this multi-directional, multi-generational tale of a powwow in Oakland that goes wrong. Real wrong.With twelve different narrators, each with his or her own chapters and own mini-constellations of connected minor characters, this is not...
  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    I wish I hadn't read this immediately after In Our Mad and Furious City because the structure is SO similar that I was confusing some pieces. Alternating viewpoints, varying points of view and tense, etc.Tommy Orange is focusing on the present-day experience of the Urban Indian. (He uses the word Indian so I will too; I would probably go with a more PC term if I were to do it.) Set in Oakland, CA, it follows a bunch of people who are connected in...