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Tommy Orange


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

Tommy is a recent graduate from the MFA programme at the Institute of American Indian Arts. He is a 2014 MacDowell Fellow, and a 2016 Writing by Writers Fellow.

Genres: Literary Fiction
 
Novels
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Tommy Orange recommends
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New Waves (2020)
Kevin Nguyen
"A brilliant meditation on death and grief in the age of the internet. New Waves is full of modern noise and complicated love. Its prismatic, futuristic take on race and identity are a thrill to read. The book is funny and sad in equal measure, inventive, self-aware, full of insight, but also entirely enjoyable."
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Sharks in the Time of Saviours (2020)
Kawai Strong Washburn
"Sharks in the Time of Saviours bursts with life. It is bright and beautifully noisy. It's so good it hurts and hurts to where it heals. It is revelatory and unputdownable. Washburn is an extraordinarily brilliant new talent. This family saga is shark tooth sharp. Its pages shoot off crackles and sparks, and you come out of it changed. It is sublime."
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This Town Sleeps (2020)
Dennis E Staples
"Elegant and gritty, angry and funny. Staples’s work is emotional without being sentimental. Dennis unmakes something in us, then remakes it, a quilt of characters that embody this town, this place, which sleeps but doesn’t dream, or it is all a dream we want to wake up from with its characters."
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A Burning (2020)
Megha Majumdar
"A Burning by Megha Majumdar is quietly beautiful and devastating. Its tone and pacing are measured perfectly. It is as funny as it is sad. This book won't let you go, and you won't want it to end."
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The Only Good Indians (2020)
Stephen Graham Jones
"The Only Good Indians is scary good. Stephen Graham Jones is one of our most talented and prolific living writers. The book is full of humor and bone chilling images. It’s got love and revenge, blood and basketball. More than I could have asked for in a novel. It also both reveals and subverts ideas about contemporary Native life and identity. Novels can do some much to render actual and possible lives lived. Stephen Graham Jones truly knows how to do this, and how to move us through a story at breakneck (literally) speed. I’ll never see an elk or hunting, or what a horror novel can do the same way again."
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Memorial (2020)
Bryan Washington
"Bryan Washington’s Memorial is stunning. Everything happening in this book is so intimate, sensual, and wise. It is a funny book with much sadness and love. It is a story about relationships, and family, and what it means to have and not have home, in Houston, Texas, and in Osaka, Japan. It is also a surprising page-turner. The scenes and characters here couldn’t be more alive and vivid. I love this book."
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The Removed (2021)
Brandon Hobson
"Brandon Hobson has given us a haunted work, full of voices old and new. It is about a family’s reckoning with loss and injustice, and it is about a people trying for the same. The journey of this family’s way home is full—in equal measure—of melancholy and love. The Removed is spirited, droll, and as quietly devastating as rain lifting from earth to sky."
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Brother, Sister, Mother, Explorer (2021)
Jamie Figueroa
"Brother, Sister, Mother, Explorer is so full of voice. It is utterly bright and original."
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The Committed (2021)
(Sympathizer, book 2)
Viet Thanh Nguyen
"The Committed is nothing short of revelatory . . . This book is fierce, and unrelentingly good. Hilarious and subversive, philosophical and hallucinatory, it is much more than a sequel, more like a necessary appendage in a brilliant and expansive anti-colonial body of work. Bravo."
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What Strange Paradise (2021)
Omar El Akkad
"What Strange Paradise is by turns tender and brutal in its truths. It is tremendously written, propulsive as it is expansive as it is granular in its specificities. Omar El Akkad writes with such emotional precision, power, and grace. Here we get the wondrousness of children set in sharp relief against a backdrop of the all too common dehumanization then dismissal of refugees everywhere. The book devastates and uplifts, somehow, and we are not left with hope—that isn’t the point—but asked to witness, to see what is here, with clarity, and with fullness of heart."
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Leave Society (2021)
Tao Lin
"No one writes like Tao Lin. He is so quietly funny, and surprising, and strange, in the way he writes sentences, in the way that he thinks. Leave Society is transcendent in its honesty and is even transcendent in its transcendency, by which I mean Tao Lin remains transparent even while delving into subject matter difficult to render on the page, like drug experiences and ponderings into the origins of philosophical systems in human societies since time immemorial. He makes the mysterious mundane and the mundane mysterious. But the book is so very readable and accessible and fun, even while exploring pain and family relationships, and yes the question about remaining a part of a society that can and will bring you harm in countless invisible ways, that has been designed to exploit the earth’s natural resources including its people. I love this novel."
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The President and the Frog (2021)
Carolina De Robertis
"The President and the Frog is a story about stories, and how to remember the seeds we can be even in the bleakest times. There is such lucid tenderness in the book, but it is also wild, and funny. As we move through time, we return again and again to love, to growth, but through struggle, and madness, and yes, magnanimous conversations with a frog. This book and Carolina De Robertis’s vision are a beautiful, shattered dance."

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