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Tommy Orange’s ‘There There’ selected as University of Idaho’s 2019-20 Common Read

UPDATED: Mon., March 25, 2019

This combination photo shows a cover image of the novel “There There” by Tommy Orange and a portrait of Orange. The most honored literary debut of 2018 has received the PEN/Hemingway award for distinguished new novel. (AP)
This combination photo shows a cover image of the novel “There There” by Tommy Orange and a portrait of Orange. The most honored literary debut of 2018 has received the PEN/Hemingway award for distinguished new novel. (AP)

The University of Idaho has selected Tommy Orange’s debut novel “There There” as its 2019-20 Common Read.

“There There” follows 12 characters in Oakland while examining what it means to be a Native American.

“ ‘There There’ is a perfect complement to the first-year experience at the University of Idaho, where understanding one’s place, identity and purpose is a crucial part of this transition,” committee member Cindy Fuhrman, coordinator of the Indigenous Knowledge for Effective Education Program, said in a press release.

First-year students will read “There There” as part of their Integrated Seminar 101 course and in English 101 and 102, all part of the General Education program.

Copies of the book are available through the VandalStore and BookPeople of Moscow.

Orange will speak in the International Ballroom of the Bruce M. Pitman Center on Nov. 5.

Orange, an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma, was born and raised in Oakland and now lives in Angels Camp, California.

Orange recently graduated from the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. He is a 2014 MacDowell Fellow and a 2016 Writing by Writers Fellow.

“There There” has received a number of awards and accolades since its 2018 release, including the National Book Critics Circle Award’s John Leonard Prize and being named one of the New York Times’ favorite books of 2018.

In recent years, Common Read, now in its 12th year, has featured works including Anthony Doerr’s “All the Light We Cannot See,” Sy Montgomery’s “The Soul of an Octopus,” Carol Tavris’ “Mistakes Were Made (but Not by Me)” and Tara Westover’s “Educated: A Memoir.”

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