Maryland Humanities has selected “There There” by Tommy Orange for the 2023 One Maryland One Book program. Released in 2018, the novel tells the interconnected stories of a cast of 12 native characters from across generational lines, as they converge toward the Big Oakland Powwow. Together, the stories give a riveting portrait of the urban Indian experience.
“There There” was one of The New York Times Book Review’s 10 Best Books of the Year, and won the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize, as well as the PEN/Hemingway Award.
“There There” was chosen as this year’s One Maryland One Book by a selection committee of 20 Marylanders, including teachers, scholars, librarians, writers, booksellers, and community workers representing 10 counties and Baltimore City. A public call for books under the theme of “Connection” garnered nearly 300 titles, from which the committee then made its selection.
“‘There There’ provides us an opportunity to connect with several Native American lives that feel immediate and relevant to the world today,” said Lindsey Baker, executive director of Maryland Humanities. “These characters are deeply rooted in their rich, often traumatic histories, yet are instantly recognizable to any reader. Tommy Orange shares with us their triumphs and their struggles, creating fully rounded characters and journeys to follow.”
In the fall, Maryland Humanities will collaborate with partners across the state, including libraries, schools, universities, book clubs and local Native/Indian organizations to conduct programs where readers can connect with one another and discuss the book’s themes. Maryland Humanities will distribute free copies of “There There” to partners. Tommy Orange will also visit Maryland for an in-person author event where he will discuss the book with an audience. All events are free.
“Wandering Books”: Where Will You Find “There There?”
Copies of the 2023 One Maryland One Book selection will be dropped off in public spaces in counties across the state as part of “Wandering Books,” a campaign that introduces readers to “There There” and the One Maryland One Book program. Anyone can receive clues about where to find books via Maryland Humanities’ Maryland Center for the Book Facebook page or by following @MDHumanities on Instagram.
This year, libraries in Maryland will distribute books throughout their communities. After finding a copy of “There There,” readers can log on to www.bookcrossing.com and register their book’s ID number. Then, they can post a comment or review when they’ve finished reading. Following that, readers can then leave the book somewhere public for another reader to find and enjoy.
Instructions are located inside the book cover. Participation is free. Those who register books will be automatically entered to win a $25 gift certificate to www.bookshop.org and must include their name and email to be eligible.