Bank Square Books and the Mashantucket Pequot Museumpresent the first event in their Indigenous Voices Series featuring Tommy Orange, the author of There There. Tickets for this event are $5, or free with book purchase, and books will be available for purchase at the event.
About the Book
Fierce, angry, funny, heartbreaking—Tommy Orange’s first novel is a wondrous and shattering portrait of an America few of us have ever seen, and it introduces a brilliant new author at the start of a major career.
There There is a relentlessly paced multigenerational story about violence and recovery, memory and identity, and the beauty and despair woven into the history of a nation and its people. It tells the story of twelve characters, each of whom have private reasons for traveling 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 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 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.
Here is a voice we have never heard—a voice full of poetry and rage, exploding onto the page with stunning urgency and force. Tommy Orange writes of the plight of the urban Native American, the Native American in the city, in 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. An unforgettable debut, destined to become required reading in schools and universities across the country.
About Tommy Orange
Tommy Orange is a recent graduate from the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. He is a 2014 MacDowell Fellow, and a 2016 Writing by Writers Fellow. He is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma. He was born and raised in Oakland, California, and currently lives in Angels Camp, California.
About the Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center
The Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center is a non-profit educational institution that seeks to further knowledge and understanding of the richness and diversity of the indigenous cultures and societies of the U.S. and Canada. The museum consists of permanent exhibits, the Mashantucket Gallery, classrooms, a 320-seat auditorium, restaurant, and museum shop, while the research center houses collections, libraries, archives, and archaeology and conservation laboratories.
The world’s largest Native American museum, The Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center serves as a major resource on the history and culture of the Mashantucket Pequots, the diverse histories and cultures of Native Americans throughout the northeast, and the natural history of southeastern Connecticut.