There There

There There

Large Print - 2018 | Large print edition
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"Here is a story of several people, each of whom has private reasons for travelling to the Big Oakland Powwow. 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 together after his uncle's death and has come to work at the powwow to honour his uncle's memory. Opal Viola Victoria Bear Shield has come to watch her nephew Orvil Red Feather, who has taught himself traditional Indian dance through YouTube videos and has come to the powwow to dance 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 unspeakable loss. Fierce, angry, funny, heartbreaking, There There is a relentlessly paced multi-generational story about violence and recovery, memory and identity, and the beauty and despair woven into the history of a nation and its people. A glorious, unforgettable debut."--$cProvided by publisher.
Publisher: [New York, New York] : Random House Large Print, [2018]
Edition: Large print edition
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9780525633013
Branch Call Number: ORANGE
Characteristics: 436 pages (large print)
large print


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

LPL_KateG Oct 12, 2018

There There has been gaining attention and I could not be more thrilled for the author. This debut is a show-stopper: the writing packs a punch, the setting feels real, the characters are interesting and diverse, and the plot kept me turning the pages. If you’re looking for something to read to remember why Columbus Day is being changed to Indigenous Peoples Day in more progressive cities, this is it.

Sep 29, 2018

This was a solid, eloquent novel. Complete with a stinging social commentary on colonization by the white man, it was a gripping read. Tommy Orange leaves some story-lines unfinished, which leaves us to wonder what happened to some of the characters we grew attached to.

Sep 11, 2018

This novel tells the stories of several Native Americans living in Oakland whose lives converge at a powwow held in the Oakland coliseum. The large cast of characters are grouped around families and other social groups, which makes it easier to follow the thread of the lives of so many people. A large portion of the narrative focuses on the lives of these characters, and includes reflections on the diverse ways in which Natives have struggled to maintain their identity in a society that has a long and sustained history of attempting to subjugate and erase them. In spite of this being a character-driven novel, I found the narrative to move along quite quickly. This was in large part due to the anticipation of what was going to happen at the powwow. This novel would appeal to readers interested in thought-provoking and character-driven stories, which convey the struggles of those who have been and are still marginalized.
--Brad (WoodneathBrad)

Sep 05, 2018

Ah, man, this was a dark piece of work. So much despair, drugs, unhappiness, dissolution. But, I'm glad I read it. I had a hard time keeping all the connections between the characters together, I think because of how the novel was organized.

SPL_Shauna Sep 04, 2018

Complete review available under Summary

Sep 01, 2018

I feel like this is going to be a classic. The emotion is raw, the anger is real, but I think there is also some hope woven into the stories. This book moved me , almost to tears at times. A must read!!!

Aug 12, 2018

"But for Native people in this country, all over the Americas, it's been developed over, buried ancestral land, glass and concrete and wire and steel, unreturnable covered memory. There is no there there."
As we reach the twilight of the white male writers (the recent passing of Tom Wolfe and Philip Roth just highlights this.), voices that have too long been left out of the American narrative are finally being heard. Tommy Orange's debut novel follows a handful of Native characters as they all converge on a Pow wow in Oakland. Many of the characters are carrying baggage or scars, whether it's bad relationships, alcoholism, or the history of Native peoples in this country. But the book, while is has intensity and anger, is not despairing. I'll shut up. You should read it.

Aug 06, 2018

The premise of the main characters is attending the Big Oakland Pow Wow each with their own story. The author brilliantly delves into their Native Americanism. Orange explores Native identity, violence and struggle in the modern day Oakland. His prose style brings depth to the character's plight. "Something about it will make sense. The bullets have been coming from miles. Years. Their sound will break the water in our bodies, tear sound itself, ....The fact we've been fighting for decades to be recognized as the present-tense people, modern and relevant, alive, only to die in the grass wearing feathers."

Aug 05, 2018

Tommy Orange is a powerful voice in Native American literature. He’s chosen a challenging task, that of weaving together the stories of a large cast of characters with connections to Oakland California. These characters all have different stories and he skillfully brings them together at a powwow in Oakland. I wish I had taken notes about the characters because there are so many and each person’s story is different.

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Jul 30, 2018

Sooooo good...and relevant. Intertwining vignettes of Native American people (mostly identifying as Cheyenne) living in Oakland. Slowly the connections between the vignettes becomes clear as the story builds to a climax at a Pow Wow at the Oakland Colosseum. Eye-opening and heart-breaking. Check out this amazing debut novel!

View All Comments


Add a Summary

SPL_Shauna Sep 04, 2018

In the years since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission began its work, Indigenous news has taken a more prominent place in our news cycles. However, not everyone learns best by reading the news, and if you'd rather learn about cultures and the effects of colonialism by reading fiction, this book is a great place to start. It's also stunning literature in its own right, and Indigenous critics have lauded all the many things this book gets right about Indigenous lives.

There There features an ensemble cast of characters whose lives become intertwined around a large Pow Wow coming up in the Oakland area. Despite the number of characters involved in the narrative, each character feels fully fleshed out. The reader quickly becomes drawn into the narrative of the family who moves to Alcatraz to join the Indigenous occupation, a young man growing up with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome who is tugged into gang activity, a woman who flees an abusive relationship and becomes the Pow Wow's organizer, a young boy who yearns to dance at the Pow Wow despite his family's rejection of the craft, and many others. The narratives spiral together toward a crisis at the Pow Wow, with the reader unable to put the book down until everyone's accounted for.

Gorgeously written, empathic and gritty, There There is likely to make many of this year's best-of lists. Don't miss it.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at SL

To Top