There There is told through the lives and experiences of 12 different Native American narrators in Oakland, California. Though the plot of the book is pushed along by the events leading up to and occurring at the Big Oakland Powwow, the real subject matter is the experiences and lives of “Urban Indians.” Subjects such as alcoholism and addiction, abuse, poverty, Native American community and the continuing effects of their history are artfully explored and expressed in beautiful, poetic prose.
I loved reading this book. It felt fresh and important. The prologue alone (which I reread right after finishing the book) was powerful, direct, and provided a great framework for understanding the book. The kaleidoscope of characters was sometimes difficult to keep straight, but each person provided a unique perspective that created the complete story. I don’t have much experience with Native American narratives beyond the white-washed media put out by Hollywood, so There There opened up a new world to me.
I cannot recommend this book enough (duh, everyone should read it!) and I cannot wait to see what Tommy Orange publishes next.
- Title: There There
- Author: Tommy Orange
- Published: June 5, 2018 (Knopf)
- Genre: Fiction, Contemporary
- Booky Nooky Rating: * * * * *