Cheyenne-Arapaho author lands on shortlist for first novel 'There, There'

Tommy Orange, a citizen of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes, is earning critical praise for his debut novel about urban Indians.

Orange is one of seven authors on the shortlist for the First Novel Prize from The Center for Fiction. His work, There There, was described as the "story of twelve unforgettable characters, Urban Indians living in Oakland, California, who converge and collide on one fateful day."

"There will be glorious communion, and a spectacle of sacred tradition and pageantry. And there will be sacrifice, and heroism, and loss," the center wrote in its announcement on Wednesday.

Orange, who grew up in Oakland, is up for a $10,000 award from the organization. The winner will be announced on December 11 in New York.

There There by Tommy Orange. Random House 2018.

Published in early June by Random House, There There has won raves in the book media. Author Colm Tobin of The New York Times said it all with the headline of his review two weeks later: Yes, Tommy Orange’s New Novel Really Is That Good.

"Orange makes Oakland into a 'there' that becomes all the more concretely, emphatically and fully so in a novel that deals, in tones that are sweeping and subtle, large-gestured and nuanced, with what the notion of belonging means for Native Americans," Tobin writes.

Other favorable reviews have appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian and The Globe and Mail.

Orange is currently on a book tour. Upcoming dates include September 8 in San Francisco, September 20 in Los Angeles and September 24 in Chicago, Illinois.

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