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There There: A novel Kindle Edition
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—Dwight Garner, The New York Times
“Sweeping and subtle…pure soaring beauty.”
—Colm Toibin, 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, Birchbark Books
“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."
"A symphonic debut...Engrossing... There There introduces an exciting voice."
—Booklist (starred review)
"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 (starred review)
"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 (starred review)
"Kaleidoscopic... In this vivid and moving book, Orange articulates the challenges and complexities not only of Native Americans, but also of America itself."
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
- ASIN : B075HY1NFB
- Publisher : Vintage; Reprint edition (June 5, 2018)
- Publication date : June 5, 2018
- Language : English
- File size : 3284 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 292 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #19,291 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Reviews with images
Top reviews from the United States
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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 Thanksgiving for you - read it so you can re-think your future Thanksgivings.
"There There", (the title referring to an out-of-context quote by Gertrude Stein about Oakland, CA) is fascinating, heartbreaking, frustrating and ultimately hopeful. The novel is comprised of individual, but interconnected/interrelated stories by a dozen characters; their stories and actions will culminate at the “Big Oakland Powwow”. (There are some major coincidences – but just suspend your disbelief and let it go!) The section on Dene Oxendene, somewhat mirrors the premise: Dene wants to make a documentary film of various Native Americans talking about their life experiences of living in Oakland, and that is pretty much the description of this novel – plus some mysteries and some shocking action.
Summing it up best, Opal Viola Victoria Bear Shield’s Mother tells her that the world is made up of stories and that they honor their people by telling their stories. And that’s how Tommy Orange honors his people, and his readers, with these transforming and redemptive stories.
However, if one steps outside the plot and listens to the voices of these wounded people, all trying to find some place to stand and build their lives, time spent with this book is not wasted.
And what characters populate these pages. There are approximately 12 main ones, each embodying a fact of urban Native American identity. These complex relationships form a patchwork that make the outcome inevitable. There is search for family, identity and place, many feeling marginalized and invisible in the urban setting they find themselves. Earlier chapters provide character studies that present the players, their histories and motivations, so clearly the prose flows and pages fly by, followed by an almost cinematic speedup as the climax approaches.
Full disclosure - I began this book several days ago employing the audible edition, but found it was too rich and full to continue that way and had to begin all over again with a print version.
This shallowness is also found in the notion that this book is a great account of the "urban Indian." Nope, it isn't. Although it's true that most Native Americans live in cities and not Reservations, so many still have strong connections to the Rez: relatives are still there, growing up happened there, Reservation landscapes are essential to spirituality and identity. None of this is present in "There There." It's as though these people sprang into existence ex nihilo. They have little or no backstory. For an excellent "urban Indian" novel from a much, much better writer, read "The Hiawatha" by David Treuer.
Finally, the ending of "There There" is simply bizarre, even ridiculous (spoiler alert). Some of the characters try to rob a Powwow, and for no apparent reason one of them starts shooting another, who returns fire, and in the shootout nearly all of the characters are hit. Mr. Orange prefers coyness to closure and does not indicate who lives and who dies. What's the point?
Top reviews from other countries
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 bonds they may not yet understand.
All of them are there for the celebration of culture that is the Big Oakland Powwow.
But Tony Loneman is also there. And Tony has come to the Powwow with darker intentions.
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