There There Author Tommy Orange Comes to San Francisco Public Library

For Immediate Release: 10/7/19
Media Contact: Jaime Wong
(415) 557-4295 |

There There Author Tommy Orange Comes to San Francisco Public Library

Award-winning debut author in conversation with City’s Poet Laureate Kim Shuck


San Francisco, CA — As part of its 15th Annual One City One Book celebration of There There, the San Francisco Public Library is proud to host author Tommy Orange for a discussion of his work on the evening of October 16, 2019. Orange is a recent graduate from the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. He is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma, and was born, raised and currently resides in Oakland, CA. On Oct. 16, Orange will be in conversation with San Francisco Poet Laureate Kim Shuck. A book signing will follow the event.

The selection of There There as this year’s One City One Book title is a key part of a citywide initiative to shine a spotlight on Indigenous Peoples in the Bay Area this fall.

There There, Orange’s debut novel, tells the story of urban Native Americans living in Oakland, CA, depicting a beautiful and urgently real landscape of the Native experience in the Bay Area past and present day. This compelling read grapples with complex and painful histories through a constellation of twelve characters from Native communities. As the characters each make their individual journeys to the Big Oakland Powwow, they discover truths about themselves, and eventually each other, long buried but ready to be brought into the light.

Since the publication of the hardcover by Knopf in June 2018, There There has been a national bestseller, received four starred reviews, and was named as Best Book of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle, New York Times, Washington Post, NPR, and Time Magazine. Additionally, the novel received the PEN/Hemingway Award, the American Book Award and was a finalist for the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in fiction.

This year’s One City One Book program is a joint partnership with the San Francisco Arts Commission, Oakland Public Library,City College of San Francisco and June Jordan School of Equity. 

Featured Event
Tommy Orange in Conversation

Oct. 16, 6 p.m., Main Library, Koret Auditorium

Nov. 1, 6:30 p.m., Oakland Museum of California – James Moore Theater, 1000 Oak St., Oakland (in partnership with Oakland Public Library)

There There Book Groups

•Saturday, Oct. 12, 10:30 a.m.–12 p.m., Main Library, Talking Books and Braille Center

• Saturday, Oct. 12, 2–3 p.m., Richmond Branch

• Sunday, Oct. 13, 2–3 p.m., Bernal Heights Branch

• Tuesday, Oct. 22, 6–7 p.m., North Beach Branch

• Tuesday, Oct. 22, 7–8 p.m., Excelsior Branch

• Sunday, Nov. 3, 3:30–4:30 p.m., Eureka Valley Branch

• Tuesday, Nov. 5, 6:30–7:30 p.m., Mission Branch

• Wednesday, Nov. 6, 6–7 p.m., Glen Park Branch

• Sunday, Nov. 10, 2–3 p.m., Parkside Branch

• Wednesday, Nov. 13, 6–7 p.m., Main Library

• Saturday, Nov. 16, 2–3:30 p.m., Ingleside Branch

• Saturday, Nov. 23, 2–3 p.m., Visitacion Valley Branch

• Tuesday, Dec. 3, 7–8:30 p.m., Merced Branch

For more programs relating to One City One Book, see

Editorial Reviews + Awards

  • PEN/Hemingway Award winner, 2019
  • American Book Award winner, 2019
  • The Center for Fiction First Novel Prize winner, 2019
  • National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize winner, 2018
  • Pulitzer Prize(Fiction) finalist, 2019
  • Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction finalist, 2019
  • Art Seidenbaum Award finalist, 2019
  • Aspen Words Literary Prize finalist, 2019
  • Best Book of the Year, New York Times, Washington Post, NPR, Time, O, San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe

“An exquisite mix of unflinching anger and sadness and humor.”

The San Francisco Chronicle

“Powerful. . . . There There has so much jangling energy and brings so much news from a distinct corner of American life that it’s a revelation.”

The New York Times

“A rush of intensity and fervor… Bursting with talent and big ideas… Funny and profane and conscious of the violence that runs like a scar through American culture.”
The Seattle Times

“Masterful. White-hot. A devastating debut novel.”
The Washington Post

“With a literary authority rare in a debut novel, it places Native American voices front and center before readers’ eyes.” —NPR/Fresh Air

“A symphonic debut...Engrossing... There There introduces an exciting voice.”
Booklist (starred review) “Commanding...The propulsion of both the overall narrative and its players are breathtaking as Orange unpacks how decisions of the past mold the present,resulting in a haunting and gripping story.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Visceral... A chronicle of domestic violence, alcoholism, addiction, and pain,the book reveals the perseverance and spirit of the characters... Unflinching candor... Highly recommended.”
Library Journal (starred review)

“Kaleidoscopic... In this vivid and moving book, Orange articulates the challenges and complexities not only of Native Americans, but also of America itself.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

About One City One Book

One City One Book: San Francisco Reads is an annual citywide literary event that encourages members of the San Francisco community to read the same book at the same time and then discuss it in book groups and at events throughout the City. By building bridges between communities and generations through the reading and most importantly the discussion of – one book, we hope to help to make reading a lifelong pursuit and to build a more literate society. Sponsors for One City One Book include the San Francisco Public Library and Friends of the San Francisco Public Library. The program is also supported by many bookstore partners, program partners and media sponsors.


October 7, 2019