The Native Story in History and Literature with Tommy Orange

“Powerful. . . . There There has so much jangling energy and brings so much news from a distinct corner of American life that it’s a revelation.” —The New York Times

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, this chorus of voices tells 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. Orange will have an on-stage conversation about his work and take questions from the audience. A book signing will follow the event.

Presented in partnership with Lexington Education Foundation,
There There was read by all LHS Sophomores and Juniors and excerpts were read by Freshmen as part of an integrated curriculum and author visitation with discussion from a diverse text. The funding for this project was through a grant award to English educator Samantha St. Lawrence from Lexington Education Foundation and LHS. 


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