Seattle Reads selects “There, There” by Tommy Orange for 2020

Seattle Reads has selected Tommy Orange’s novel “There, There” as its 2020 selection. (Photo via The Seattle Public Library.)

Seattle Reads, The Seattle Public Library’s citywide book program, has selected “There, There” by Tommy Orange as its selection for 2020. The novel is the program’s first selection by an Indigenous author.

The critically acclaimed 2018 novel focuses on the experiences of Urban Indians, through 12 Native characters from Oakland, California, whose lives converge at the Big Oakland Powwow.

Orange will visit Seattle from May 16-17, 2020, and will speak at four public Seattle Reads events.

Orange graduated from the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts, and was a 2014 MacDowell Fellow and a 2016 Writing by Writers Fellow. He is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma. He was born and raised in Oakland, California, according to a press release from the Seattle Public Library.

Seattle Reads was started in 1998. This year, the Seattle Reads selection was Thi Bui’s “The Best We Could Do,” a graphic novel based on the author’s true story, about her family’s escape from South Vietnam and their struggles as they established themselves in the United States.

According to a press release from the library, there will be a limited number of copies of “There There” at library locations for informal borrowing by individual patrons or book groups in February or March 2020. Different libraries will also hold discussion groups.

The library will post details on Seattle Reads 2020 early next year at spl.org/seattlereads.

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