There There: A Novel by Tommy Orange

The phrase “There’s no there there” was written by by Gertrud Stein after returning to her childhood home in Oakland only to find that her family house had been torn down and replaced by an office park. The title of Tommy Orange’s stunning novel pays homage to Stein but evokes a much deeper sense of pain and loss.

The book weaves together the stories of complex, yet clearly drawn characters of Native Americans living in modern day Oakland who converge at a Pow Wow at the Oakland Coliseum. Orange presents a world and a history most Americans, me included, seldom think about, but should.

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