• Title

  • Writers on a New England Stage: Tommy Orange with THERE THERE

    • Share:
    May 09, 2019



    Pulitzer Prize finalist

    Tommy Orange

    with his acclaimed debut novel




    Winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award


    Thursday, May 16, at 7:00 p.m.


    “An astonishing literary debut!”

    ?Margaret Atwood


    “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.”

    —New York Times


    “[T]he year’s most galvanizing debut novel.”

    ?Entertainment Weekly


    What: Award-winning, breakout Native American author Tommy Orange comes to The Music Hall as part of the Writers on a New England Stage series on Thursday, May 16. He will discuss his national bestseller THERE THERE, which explores the Urban Indian experience through twelve unforgettable characters in Oakland, California who converge and collide on one fateful day.


    The 7pm event includes an author presentation followed by an onstage interview with Peter Biello, host of New Hampshire Public Radio’s broadcast of All Things Considered and The Bookshelf from NHPR, an ongoing segment featuring authors from around New Hampshire and the region.


    Tommy Orange’s shattering novel follows twelve characters from Native communities, all traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow, and all connected to each other in ways they may not yet realize. Together, they are a chorus of voices telling 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.


    When/Where:            Thursday, May 16, at 7:00 p.m.

                                     The Music Hall Historic Theater

                                      28 Chestnut Street

                                      Portsmouth, NH 03801


    About the Author: Tommy Orange is faculty at and a graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts MFA program in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma. He was born and raised in Oakland, California, and currently lives in Angels Camp, California.


    Tickets: Ticket packages for Writers on a New England Stage: Tommy Orange with THERE THERE on Thursday, May 16, at 7pm are $29.75. Packages include a reserved seat and signed copy of THERE THERE ($16.00, paperback), and can be purchased online at TheMusicHall.org, over the phone at 603.436.2400, or in person at the B2W Box Office at the Historic Theater, 28 Chestnut Street.


    For further information, or to request an author interview, please contact: Patricia Lynch, Executive Producer, at plynch@themusichall.org or Brittany Wason, Literary Coordinator, at bwason@themusichall.org


    For images, please see: https://goo.gl/photos/UENT8hSiMjZnrTWt5


    About Writers on a New England Stage

    This award-winning author series, launched in 2005, has presented such celebrated writers as David McCullough, Margaret Atwood, Stephen King, United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Dan Brown, Judy Blume, Tom Brokaw, and Jodi Picoult all on stage at The Music Hall’s Historic Theater in downtown Portsmouth, NH. Each literary evening features an author presentation followed by an onstage interview with a New Hampshire Public Radio host. Live music is performed by the award-winning house band Dreadnaught. Shows are rebroadcast on New Hampshire Public Radio.


    Writers on a New England Stage is a partnership between The Music Hall and New Hampshire Public Radio.


    About New Hampshire Public Radio

    Since 1981, New Hampshire Public Radio has shaped the media landscape in the Granite State and beyond. Our mission is “Expanding minds, sparking connections, building stronger communities.” NHPR is broadcast from 14 different sites, making it by far New Hampshire’s largest (and only) statewide radio news service. Every week, NHPR is the choice of 170,000 listeners as a primary source of in-depth and intelligent news coverage, with thousands more viewing NHPR.org, following our social media sites or listening to our podcasts. Each day, New Hampshire Public Radio delivers several hours of local news reported by its award-winning news team. Locally produced programs and podcasts include The Exchange, Word of Mouth, The Folk Show, Outside/In, and Civics 101, among others. NHPR is the exclusive outlet for NPR News in the Granite State and broadcasts national weekly programs such as The Moth Radio Hour, Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, and This American Life.


    About The Music Hall

    The Music Hall is an active and vital cultural center in downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire, dedicated to the advancement of the tri-state region’s cultural life through the performing arts, literature, and education. A community-supported 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, it presents entertainment from around the world and around the corner—the greatest musicians, writers, and performers of the time, extraordinary films, and award-winning documentaries. Its 600 yearly events delight an annual audience of 130,000 (including 20,000 children) in two theaters—an 1878 Victorian-era Historic Theater and the modern and intimate Loft space. The Music Hall was recently named Editors’ Choice “Best All-Around Entertainment” by Yankee Magazine and is a designated “American Treasure for the Arts.” Through innovative community partnerships, it subsidizes thousands of tickets each year to make the arts accessible to all. The Music Hall is community-oriented and committed to helping the Seacoast region flourish.


    Presenting Sponsors:  The University of New Hampshire; Kennebunk Savings

    Series Sponsor:  Piscataqua Landscaping & Tree Service; Tuscan Kitchen

    Media Sponsor:  Yankee Magazine

    Season Sponsors:  Carey & Giampa, Realtors; Portwalk Place; the River House restaurant

    Contributing Partner:  University of New Hampshire




    Nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

    Winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award

    Winner of the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize

    Winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award

    Winner of the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize

    Shortlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction

    One of The New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year

    One of the Best Books of the Year: The Washington Post, NPR, Time, O, The Oprah Magazine, The Dallas Morning News, GQ, Entertainment Weekly, BuzzFeed, San Francisco Chronicle, The Boston Globe


    “Bravura...THERE THERE has so much jangling energy and brings so much news from a distinct corner of American life that it’s a revelation...its appearance marks the passing of a generational baton.”—Dwight Garner, New York Times


    “Sweeping and subtle…pure soaring beauty.”—Colm Toibin, New York Times Book Review


    “A rush of intensity and fervor...Bursting with talent and big ideas...Funny and profane and conscious of the violence that runs like a scar through American culture.”—Jeff Baker, Seattle Times


    “A new kind of American epic... one that reflects his ambivalence and the complexity of [Orange's] upbringing.”—Alexandra Alter, New York Times


    “Masterful. White-hot. A devastating debut novel.”—Ron Charles, Washington Post


    “With a literary authority rare in a debut novel, it places Native American voices front and center before readers’ eyes.”NPR/Fresh Air


    “How do you rewrite the story of a people? This question shapes Tommy Orange’s sorrowful, beautiful debut novel...Even in its tragic details, it is lyrical and playful, shaking and shimmering with energy.”—The Guardian


    “Mr. Orange’s sparkling debut is not merely a literary triumph but a cultural and political one, too. It is a work of defiance and recovery.”—The Economist


    “Powerful...As contemporary, tragic, and American as a breaking news alert."Christian Science Monitor


    “Stunning.”—Boston Globe


    “Brilliantly, furiously, magnificently, tragically, the story of America.”—Elle


    “This is not just a novel. It’s a carefully, beautifully crafted speech into a megaphone, telling stories of real, contemporary Native life in a specific place...It offers a glimpse of an interconnected life, a world in which small stones don’t just sink to the bottom of the sea but changes tides.”—The Times Literary Supplement (London)


    “Bold and engrossing...There is hope in this book, hope in the strength of stories told and stories that are finally heard...The wonder of this accomplished debut is the way in which he has got under his characters’ skins, allowing them to speak for themselves...This is a powerful novel of pain and possibility.”—Financial Times




    “Electrifying.”—Entertainment Weekly


    “Brilliant, propulsive.”—People


    “Exquisite...[An] exceptional debut...Sublimely render[s] the truth of experiences that are passed over.”—San Francisco Chronicle


    “Stunning.”—Mother Jones


    “Gripping...Unforgettable...THERE THERE paints a vivid portrait of American lives few readers have ever known.”—Bustle


    “Reader, I must confirm: THERE THERE really is an extremely good book...This is a trim and powerful book, a careful exploration of identity and meaning in a world that makes it hard to define either. Go ahead and go there there."—Constance Grady, Vox


    “This is the kind of novel you finish and immediately need your book club to read so you can talk about it with other people...It’s also a powerful reminder of the ability of narrative to move minds.”—GOOP


    “Staggering...Expertly rendered...Orange successfully refutes the idea of a monolithic Native American identity.”—BuzzFeed


    “As funny as it is heartbreaking, tracking the multigenerational story of twelve Native Americans with themes of violence, identity, and despair.”—PopSugar


    “Orange’s novel is one of healing, pulling together the intimacies of family, community, history, and violence.”—The Rumpus


    “An ambitious and galvanizing novel...It’s somehow a page-turner at the same time, propelled by the incandescent energy of Orange’s prose.”—Thrillist


    “[A] smashing debut...Urgent...The voices are dynamic, varied and very much of the moment, a chorus of American Indian voices coming straight from the city.”—Dallas Morning News


    “Compulsively readable...A dazzlingly intricate narrative that marries the personal and the ancestral...A masterful work.”—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


    “Searing...THERE THERE finds satisfying richness in the minutiae of its characters’ lives—their daily victories and losses, enduring frustrations, acts of tenderness, and senses of wonder.”—Austin Chronicle


    “[Orange] writes with such finely honed literary craft that the book fairly begs to be read more than once...It is gritty as well as beautiful, poetic; it is shocking, sometimes very amusing, often emotionally gut-punching, and rife with unsentimental insight.”—Santa Fe New Mexican


    “Orange’s book is truly a page turner filled with multi-generational accounts of violence, recovery, memory, identity, beauty, and even a little despair. It’s a book where you as the reader can’t put down until you finish it with both a sense of accomplishment and a feeling of anticipation of what could happen next.”—Lakota Country Times


    “Welcome to a brilliant and generous artist who has already enlarged the landscape of American Fiction. THERE THERE is a comic vision haunted by profound sadness. Tommy Orange is a new writer with an old heart.”—Louise Erdrich, Birchbark Books


    “THERE THERE drops on us like a thunderclap; the big, booming, explosive sound of 21st century literature finally announcing itself. Essential.”—Marlon James, author of A Brief History of Seven Killings


    “THERE THERE is a miraculous achievement, a book that wields ferocious honesty and originality in service of telling a story that needs to be told. 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. There is an organic power to this book—a revelatory, controlled chaos. Tommy Orange writes the way a storm makes landfall.”—Omar El Akkad, author of American War


    “THERE THERE is an urgent, invigorating, absolutely vital book by a novelist with more raw virtuosic talent than any young writer I've come across in a long, long time. Maybe ever. Tommy Orange is a stylist with substance, a showboater with a deeply moral compass. I want to call him heir to Gertrude Stein by way of George Saunders, but he is even more original than that. This book will make your heart swell.”—Claire Vaye Watkins, author of Gold Fame Citrus


    "This is Tommy Orange. Remember his name. His book's gonna blow the roof off."—Pam Houston


    "A symphonic debut...Engrossing...THERE THERE introduces an exciting voice."—Booklist (starred review)


    "Commanding...The propulsion of both the overall narrative and its players are breathtaking as Orange unpacks how decisions of the past mold the present, resulting in a haunting and gripping story."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)


    "Visceral... A chronicle of domestic violence, alcoholism, addiction, and pain, the book reveals the perseverance and spirit of the characters...Unflinching candor...Highly recommended."—Library Journal (starred review)


    "Kaleidoscopic...In this vivid and moving book, Orange articulates the challenges and complexities not only of Native Americans, but also of America itself."—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)


    “[T]he year’s most galvanizing debut novel.”?Entertainment Weekly


    “A gripping deep dive into urban indigenous community in California: an astonishing literary debut!”—Margaret Atwood, via Twitter


    “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.”—New York Times

    Brittany Wason
    (603) 436-2400