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History, Heritage, and the Urban Native Experience in Tommy Orange’s “There There”

Brygida Gasztold

Pages 279 - 298



This publication is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons License Attribution - NonCommercial - NoDerivatives 4.0. (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

This article demonstrates the ways in which Tommy Orange’s novel "There There" communicates ideas that allow the transfer of intergenerational knowledge to sustain Native futurities. By creating a future imaginary critical of the past and attentive to the present, the author disrupts settler futurity and restructures the ways in which we think about Indigenous futures. The emphasis on Indigenous presence, with a focus on the twenty-first-century experience of urban Native Americans, allows the author to merge tribal epistemologies with European theories of the postmodern. My critical examination of Orange’s narrative reveals how analysis of the particularity of Native experience may identify the narrative pillars of the postmodern thought and incorporate them into a framework of interpretation that promotes Native perspectives. The goal of this article is not simply to apply Western techniques to the examination of an Indigenous text, but rather to identify a distinctly Indigenous imaginary, which locates itself at the cross-section of diverse critical theories./p>

Keywords: Native American literature; Native history and heritage; urbanity

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