Pulitzer Prize Finalist Tommy Orange Visits Portsmouth with Acclaimed Debut Novel
Award-winning, breakout Native American author Tommy Orange comes to The Music Hall as part of the Writers on a New England Stage series on Thursday, May 16. He will discuss his national bestseller THERE THERE, which explores the Urban Indian experience through twelve unforgettable characters in Oakland, California who converge and collide on one fateful day.
The 7 pm event includes an author presentation followed by an onstage interview with Peter Biello, host of New Hampshire Public Radio’s broadcast of All Things Considered and The Bookshelf from NHPR, an ongoing segment featuring authors from around New Hampshire and the region.
“Tommy Orange shows us how the true weight of history through characters who bear that weight every moment of their lives,” says Biello. “He’s written beautifully about a painful legacy, and I’m looking forward to speaking with him about the there that used to be everywhere on this vast continent.”
ABOUT THE BOOK
Tommy Orange’s shattering novel follows twelve characters from Native communities: all traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow, all connected to each other in ways they may not yet realize. There is Jacquie Red Feather, newly sober and working to make it back to the family she left behind. Dene Oxendene, who is pulling his life back together after his uncle’s death, has come to work at the powwow to honor his memory. Fourteen-year-old Orvil has come to perform traditional dance for the very first time. Together with nine others, they are a chorus of voices telling of the plight of the urban Native American—grappling with a complex and painful history, with an inheritance of beauty and spirituality, with communion and sacrifice and heroism. Hailed as an instant classic, THERE THERE is at once poignant and laugh-out-loud funny, utterly contemporary, and always unforgettable.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tommy Orange is faculty at and a graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts MFA program in Santa Fe, New Mexico. 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