There There is thrilling to read. Its brilliance just blew me away. I read half in one sitting with goosebumps up and down my arms wondering how Orange could sustain the energy, the incantatory power, the chorus of distinct and diverse voices, the dizzying breadth of references, the metaphorical and allegorical power of every choice of plot, character, style. It's a universe of a book, which Sherman Alexie calls "the first book to capture what it means to be an Urban Indian," celebrating and mourning the legacy and future of all that entails. But it's also about every one of us: individuals, yet members of myriad groups whether we identify as such or not. It’s about how we transform each other and ourselves, how we are all ultimately related. Like one of Orange’s characters says of Motown, There There carries plenty of sadness and heartbreak, but it sure does dance while doing so. My only complaint is that it was over too soon. I wanted more.
“There There is the kind of book that grabs you from the start and doesn’t let go, even after you’ve turned the last page. It is a work of fiction, but every word of it feels true. Tommy Orange writes with a palpable anger and pain, telling the history of a cultural trauma handed down through generations in the blood and bones and stories of individual lives. He also writes with incredible heart and humor, infusing his characters with a tangible humanity and moments of joy even as they are headed toward tragedy. There There has claimed a permanent spot in my heart despite having broken it, or maybe because it did. I think this may be the best book I’ve ever read.”
— Heather Weldon, Changing Hands, Tempe, AZ
“This is the kind of book that makes you gasp for air because it has gripped you in that spot between your heart and your neck and won’t let go. Orange starts the book by introducing characters who are planning to rob a powwow, and as you begin to enjoy them—start to imagine a happy ending, where parents are found and siblings meet at the powwow, somewhere they can feel like a community—the dread of the robbery builds constantly in the background until it explodes. Orange has brought us a book that really is the cream of the crop—of all the crops.”
— Alice Ahn, Water Street Bookstore, Exeter, NH