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City Visions: Oakland native Tommy Orange on his best-selling novel, 'There There'

Elena Seibert

Host Joseph Pace sits down with Oakland native and New York Times best-selling author, Tommy Orange.

In his acclaimed 2018 debut novel, There There, Tommy Orange explores the lives of urban Native Americans—stories and perspectives that have historically been underrepresented in literature.  Rather than trying to convey the Oakland urban Native experience from one point of view, Orange introduces 12 narrators and describes their individual struggles with identity and authenticity, tradition and modernity.  What does it mean to be Native American in the United States today?

Tommy Orange was born and raised in Oakland, California and is a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma. He is a graduate of and now teaches at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico.