Tommy Orange: A Genuinely Rare Opportunity

With Portsmouth’s 400th coming up, now is the chance to learn and be inspired by all of our histories. Tommy Orange will be here touring behind his award-winning novel that entwines the narratives of Native Americans, There There. More than just another outstanding author, we believe that Orange is presenting to Portsmouth a gift, an opportunity to learn about America’s full past and how that informs who we are now.

This book raises important questions about what it means to be human, as well as American. It goes beyond simple diversity, revealing a raw, deep look at our shared history. Orange beautifully captures the crippling stress and loss of heritage of Native Americans with a sense of urgency, while presenting hope as the spirit that persists. There has been a long tradition of making Native American history disappear, erasing centuries of culture and life. It is our chance to see all of who we are, all of America, presented from a standpoint that we aren’t usually privy to.

Truthfully, this is such a huge opportunity to learn and grow on a personal level that it will likely not come to Portsmouth again any time soon. This book so perfectly aligns with The Music Hall’s core values of Quality, Creativity, Community, Courage, and Empathy, and I hope it aligns with yours as well. Not since Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee have I read a book that captivated me as There There has, and there will never be another book quite like this. Do a service to yourself and make it a point to hear Tommy Orange speak on May 16.