Earlier this year Alexandra Fuller broke open the Native American experience for a new contemporary audience, abandoning her beloved Africa for a story set on “The Rez”. Quiet Until the Thaw is an astounding novel about two Native American cousins, Rick Overlooking Horse and You Choose Watson, who live on the Lakota Oglala Sioux reservation in South Dakota. The novel was released soon after the Sioux protests at the Dakota Access Pipeline, and was widely acclaimed for its insight into the ongoing oppression of Native Indian people in the US.
Now Tommy Orange, a young writer from the Native American community in Oakland, California, has stepped centre stage with a stunning debut novel titled There There. The title comes from Gertrude Stein’s cutting line about Oakland, “There is no there there”, and the novel itself has been anointed by the New York Times as the book to read this summer, and hailed by Margaret Atwood as “astonishing”.