BookBrowse Reviews There There by Tommy Orange

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There There

by Tommy Orange

There There by Tommy Orange X
There There by Tommy Orange
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  • First Published:
    Jun 2018, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    May 7, 2019, 304 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Meara Conner
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A ground-breaking perspective of urban America from a talented new author.

Tommy Orange's debut novel, There There, takes its title from a Gertrude Stein quote about Oakland, California: "There is no there there." This is an apt description, not only of Oakland in the twenty-first century, but also for the group of indigenous people who inhabit it. The city has come to represent a loss of homeland and identity that has defined Native Americans in America's history. As the novel's prologue puts it, "We know the sound of the freeway better than we do rivers, the howl of distant trains better than wolf howls, we know the smell of gas and freshly wet concrete and burned rubber better than we do the smell of cedar or sage or even fry bread."

There There follows twelve Native American characters, each of whom live, or have spent time living, in Oakland, and who all converge in that city for a big powwow at the Oakland Coliseum. However, this ...

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