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This shattering novel follows twelve characters from Native communities: all traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow, all connected to one another in ways they may not yet realize. Among them is Jacquie Red Feather, newly sober and trying to make it back to the family she left behind. Dene Oxendene, pulling his life together after his uncle's death and working at the powwow to honor his memory. Fourteen-year-old Orvil, coming to perform traditional dance for the very first time. Together, this chorus of voices tells of the plight of the urban Native American -- grappling with a complex and painful history, with an inheritance of beauty and spirituality, with communion and sacrifice and heroism. Hailed as an instant classic, There There is at once poignant and unflinching, utterly contemporary and truly unforgettable.
Tommy Orange is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel There There, a multi-generational, relentlessly paced story about a side of America few of us have ever seen: the lives of urban Native Americans. 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 and the Pen/Hemingway Award. There There was also long listed for the National Book Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Orange graduated from the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts, and was a 2014 MacDowell Fellow and a 2016 Writing by Writers Fellow.
He is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma. He was born and raised in Oakland, California.
The glamorous world of a silent film star’s wife abruptly crumbles when she is carted hundreds of miles from home to be detained at the Carville Lepers Home in this page-turning story of courage, resilience, and reinvention set in 1920s Louisiana and Los Angeles. Based on the true story of America’s only leper colony, The Second Life of Mirielle West brings vividly to life the Louisiana institution, where thousands of people were stripped of their civil rights, branded as lepers, and forcibly quarantined throughout the entire 20th century. At first she hopes her exile will be brief, but those sent to Carville are more prisoners than patients and their disease has no cure. Instead she must find community and purpose within its walls, struggling to redefine her self-worth and reimagining her future.
Amanda Skenandore is an award-winning author of historical fiction and a registered nurse. Her debut novel, Between Earth and Sky, won the 2019 American Library Association’s Reading List award for Best Historical Fiction. Her third novel, The Second Life of Mirielle West, was named an Apple Best Books of the Month and a Hoopla Book Club Pick. She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and their pet turtle Lenore.
Told from the perspective of 11-year-old Kenyatta Bernice (KB), this coming-of-age novel follows KB and her teenage sister, Nia, as they are sent by their overwhelmed mother to live with their estranged grandfather in Lansing, Michigan after their father passes away from a drug overdose. Over the course of a single, sweltering summer, KB attempts to get her bearings in a world that has turned upside down. Pinballing between resentment, abandonment, and loneliness, KB is forced to carve out a different identity for herself and find her own voice. As she examines the jagged pieces of her recently shattered world, she learns that while some truths cut deep, a new life--and a new KB--can be built from the shards. Capturing all the vulnerability, perceptiveness, and inquisitiveness of a young Black girl on the cusp of puberty, What the Fireflies Knew poignantly reveals that heartbreaking but necessary component of growing up--the realization that loved ones can be flawed, sometimes significantly so, and that the perfect family we all dream of looks different up close.
Dr. Kai Harris is a writer and educator from Detroit, Michigan, whose critically acclaimed debut novel, What the Fireflies Knew, is a Marie Claire Book Club pick, Book of the Month add-on, and has been long listed for the Center for Fiction's First Novel Prize. Kai’s writing, which centers on the Black experience, has appeared in Guernica, Lit Hub, Kweli Journal, Longform, and the Hilltop Review, amongst others. In addition to fiction, Kai has published poetry, personal essays, and peer-reviewed academic articles on topics related to Black girlhood/womanhood, the slave narrative genre, and Black identity. Kai currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Santa Clara University. Follow Kai on social media @authorkaiharris for a healthy dose of #blackgirlmagic.