The Read Out August Selection
A Note From Heather...
There There is a breathtaking story, told from the Native voice, demanding the experience of the urban Indian finally be seen, heard, and known. It is a beautiful invitation into an imagination that has not yet been built, an imagination that we know - as Orange reminds us - is steeped in an "American consciousness actually denying a basic narrative about what happened" in Native histories.
There There challenges this erasure, introducing us to a cast of Native characters, each struggling with fundamental questions of identity, of home, of land and the body, and of what it means to be American Indian in a country that has violently interrupted Native histories and spaces as part of its public memory and policy. Orange's work remaps new ways of seeing far removed from the foreclosed landscape we've been offered from which to imagine marginalized struggle, Native life, liberation, and joy in the painful history of colonization in America.
As Omar El Akkad notes, "This is a novel about what it means to inhabit a land both yours and stolen from you, to simultaneously contend with the weight of belonging and unbelonging."
In this way, Orange's debut novel offers a serious reflection on how we may think about liberation, vulnerability, inclusion, and justice. It makes this book important, ground breaking, and, as Margret Atwood noted, "astonishing work."