ONE OF THE 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR—THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
WINNER OF THE CENTER FOR FICTION FIRST NOVEL PRIZE
One of the Best Books of the Year: The Washington Post, NPR, Time, O, The Oprah Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, Entertainment Weekly, The Boston Globe, GQ, The Dallas Morning News, Buzzfeed, BookPage, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews
NEW YORK TIMES BEST-SELLER
Tommy Orange’s “groundbreaking, extraordinary” (The New York Times) There There is the “brilliant, propulsive” (People Magazine) story of twelve unforgettable characters, Urban Indians living in Oakland, California, who converge and collide on one fateful day. It’s “the year’s most galvanizing debut novel” (Entertainment Weekly).
As we learn the reasons that each person is attending the Big Oakland Powwow—some generous, some fearful, some joyful, some violent—momentum builds toward a shocking yet inevitable conclusion that changes everything. Jacquie Red Feather is newly sober and trying to make it back to the family she left behind in shame. Dene Oxendene is pulling his life back together after his uncle’s death and has come to work at the powwow to honor his uncle’s memory. Opal Viola Victoria Bear Shield has come to watch her nephew Orvil, who has taught himself traditional Indian dance through YouTube videos and will to perform in public for the very first time. There will be glorious communion, and a spectacle of sacred tradition and pageantry. And there will be sacrifice, and heroism, and loss.
There There is a wondrous and shattering portrait of an America few of us have ever seen. It’s “masterful . . . white-hot . . . devastating” (The Washington Post) at the same time as it is fierce, funny, suspenseful, thoroughly modern, and impossible to put down. Here is a voice we have never heard—a voice full of poetry and rage, exploding onto the page with urgency and force. Tommy Orange has written a stunning novel that grapples with a complex and painful history, with an inheritance of beauty and profound spirituality, and with a plague of addiction, abuse, and suicide. This is the book that everyone is talking about right now, and it’s destined to be a classic.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Tommy Orange’s debut exposes the sharp contrasts that can appear between modern life and sacred traditions in Native American life. The audiobook follows 12 distinct characters as they each journey to the Big Oakland Powwow in California, with stories that explore everything from tragedies of history to crime and addiction to drones and 3D printing. An ensemble cast brings a unique voice to each character, emphasizing the shift in themes and tone that each intricate story represents. Alma Cuervo’s and Kyla Garcia’s emotional performances as Jacquie Red Feather and her half sister, Opal, are especially poignant. We loved the way the stories illustrate that while “Native American” is far from an all-encompassing identity, there’s still a beautiful thread that runs through these cultures.
Beautifully written but the ending?!?
This book was beautifully written with wording worth note taking... seriously magical use of words. Didn’t mind the ending just felt somehow incomplete for me which was aggravating.
In your Face!
An amazing novel with real “in your face” impact. Well written displaying great use of language and voice. Woven extremely well with the lives of 12 individuals with whom we become intimately involved.
It’s a revelatory and tragic tale that everyone must read.
I liked a lot of this book. Beautiful character development, cultural nuances were meaningfully captured. But then it just ended. Almost like author ran out of ideas or steam.