058 There There by Tommy Orange
Hi friends julia. Quick content warning off the top on this episode contains discussions of mentions of suicide gun violence addiction and violent death. So if that's not something that you wanna listen to you right now than just turn this off and we'll catch you next episode. Welcome to this thing. We wanted to read literally every every single one. Yup very job. It's wonderful yeah. I resulting in two days Harshly because victorian takes love to read things he gets i. I hope wes anderson as a young child thought to themselves study. he learned the word aesthetic. You might historical fiction. And i liked dragon guys. Welcome to book club. Where julia in victoria. We are two roommates and friends. Entice high school who read a book and talk about each episode this episode. We're discussing their their by tommy orange. This is a realistic fiction. All set in oakland About native american communities and we are so excited to dig in to this book today. There are some heavy topics which we just up top. So that's not what you wanna listen to today will catch you. On the next episode there will be spoilers in this episode though go read it The ending is as a big a big one We told you so really just doesn't care about spoilers. Welcome to the party this city on your shelf for awhile. Julia and i realized that my show notes. I didn't even write down experienced rating. 'cause i was about to transition to the next part mike. You know what it's not time for author by is a big piece. Which is how you find this book. Why are we reading it now because you will definitely where the personnel. We're doing this on the podcast. I was like okay. Yeah exactly went down that way. That's hard remember it It it's my cousins book so really. Yeah so elizabeth who. We've had on twice check about women's health and Sursee by madeline miller When she gave me her copy of starsky she also gave me two other books to read. Or loaned i should say they were. They were not gifts but loaned me her copy of their their As well as silence of the girls. I think it's called so yeah. This book has been sitting on our shelf for almost a year. Now probably and was always something that i was gonna read. No matter what 'cause i had several people recommend it to me before that point But it yeah. It just felt like a perspective. That's very hard to find in the institution of the publishing world in general and felt like something that we definitely need to do on the podcast no matter what and yea i read most of it in a day as i'm sure is becoming common theme if you didn't drinking game like listening to all of our episodes like how many take shot every time. Julius says she'd read this book all in one day. You would be pretty drunk so ever pretty long. I feel like it's like a good spacing them. Once in our. I guess ticket shot every hour so recommended only one drink in an our. Yeah intriguing around here. that's true. Yeah stay safe friends. But i really loved it. I mean i. We've done a few of these books on here where it's like a lot of individual people's stories sort of compiled together in all loosely connected. We've done several those now. And i've said it before i'll say it again. I love that. I absolutely love it. I love little character. Vignettes that all sort of bleed together Impact each other in ways that they don't realize I think the way that they all come together at the very end is perhaps unique. I was very surprised. We'll talk about the ending. Where later i was left with this kind of like. Whoa what just happened. is everybody dead. Like there's this kind of lurching feeling at the end of like nothing's quite resolved sort of leaves you with this kind of gritty kind of feeling chiu-wan of you're just like Yeah 'cause it's you feel like no one's story is quite done at the end So yeah i really enjoyed it. Yeah it was. I knew is going to be a heavy book going in. And of course i took it with me for the holidays which usually is mutating like a young adult fantasy fiction usual holiday reading or like some jane austen or something. I don't know like curl up on the couch with this around the christmas tree And so it was a little heavy for that time of year but a really engaging read it very important read. I'm excited to talk about it. I i dunno. Feels like it goes without saying but it works saying like we're to privileged white girl sitting around books in Of this is just us exposing our ignorance because there's so much i didn't know about oakland about native american communities yup in general and especially in cities and just humming orange doesn't Yeah he opens up with like a prologue. That just hits you with truth and you like yeah. Ouch yeah yes i need to re this I to be reminded of the horrific history of white colonizers in our country or that made the country that we live in today and how we continue to benefit from us system and see in the lives of individuals. And like you julia. I really enjoy the multiple perspectives. I know it's not like a new thing. But i just feel like a lot of fiction lately is taking that route To tell stories of a chorus of voices from marginalized communities and communities that are traditionally underrepresented in the american publishing world. And like how powerful it can be made me. Think back to interpretive maladies that. We talked about the podcast. That came out. You know twenty years ago but Did that for the community of indian immigrants to the us and their variety of voices that Yeah i'm the same way that tommy oranges like this is one native american that you can pin your whole understanding of need has just so inappropriate but this is a chorus of voices to speak to the nuance of his experience in the experience of his community. Yes someone who's like getting their master's in literature comparative literature or something like do a thesis about this format because as you said a lot of times it's with marginalized community or a a history like a history that americans might not be super familiar with like we got with dr. levin techno right. It's sort of humanizing your average russian whereas we vilnai's manal of our films and stuff right so or girl girl woman other where it's the story of black women in england There's this drive to get all of the representation done that's been missing for so many years all at once. It's like yeah. I wonder if that's part of the reason behind this growing trend over the last ten fifteen years is like there's been this lack of representation for so long that they're trying to like compensate and if it's like a choice or if that's just kind of the form that naturally ends up happening because it kind of has to 'cause you can't just tell one story when we've been missing a whole group of people anyway someone right about come. Tell us we'd love to hear more. We'd love to hear your thoughts now. This one was interesting to me too. Because we mentioned these other Books that kind of take a similar approach Tommy orange winsome. Even tighter together. I think allies and brings them all to the same place. I guess a baristas women other kinda does a lot of her characters end up at the same opening night of play in kind of interacting. That space yeah. It's weeding together. A novel. I think even tighter than some of these others that are more like short story. Format azam altogether at the end or interpretive maladies which is legit are all interconnected. I think that. I mean we haven't gone into like structure anything yet but that was something that really stood out to me to how tommy orange can take twelve different characters. Give them all very unique. Like three dimensional characterization give them different points of view different voices and be able to flip flop between especially in the last year of the book. It's a page or two pages from each perspective on your instantly in their shoes. You know their back on you know they're like it's really exceptionally just looking at it from a guy riding structure. Yeah novel writing format That was really exciting to read. So julie came up to my room last night to be like. Hey ready a prep. For the podcast. And i was like shake the hunt for second be like. Oh yeah sorry. i'm three layers. Deep in a read it took orange answering as like an ama. Ask me anything questions in a it really interesting and i really hope to see him at a reading someday or i don't know one thing i really appreciate about during this podcast is that we pick books. Offer that we've been wanting to read our people recommend to us and then it gives me like a new author to fan girl over. Learn all about so a little bit about tommy orange. She was born and raised in oakland california and he is an enrolled member of the cheyenne arapaho tribes of oklahoma. He's a graduate from the nfl program at the institute of american indian arts in santa fe new mexico. I'm and this was his first novel which is also incredible Read these works of fiction. That was once. I i go at it. Odyssey's got training with a whole mfa program. I'm had fellowships in stuff that allowed him to perfect his craft. But it's really exciting to see the success of young authors orange says. His father had a traditional native upbringing in hama. He didn't have a lot of time to introduce orrin. Tommy and his siblings to native american culture and Orange says that that's a common experience for kids who grew up in a big city. I found particularly interesting is that he didn't consider himself much of a reader going up. I'm much more into sports. He played roller hockey on a national level from each fourteen. Twenty four he's in addition And his interest in music took him to get a degree in sound engineering but After graduating couldn't find work so he took a job at gray wolf books which is a bookstore just outside of oakland that unfortunate closed But while he was working that he developed a passion for reading. It was interesting to me that he wasn't always reader and yet establish itself as a noteworthy author still. He's only like in his thirties. I think he's not even that far along in life is so it is cool to see A different take. Because i feel like so many authors or people like us. We're like we loved books. Since the day we could read at three this such nerds never looked up remote. And maybe that contributes to oranges incredible diversity of his characters because he's got more experience than all of us who kept our noses in books. I probably worn. Says he didn't grow up in the urban native american community he connected with this community as an adult working at mental health during a storytime project and being on a powerful committee and these are experiences that gave him the idea to write a novel from the perspective of a bunch of different urban native american characters who all end up at a power in oakland In one he said the idea of work came to him all at once but then it took him six years to write. Deep in. This reddit ama threat. I learned that orange mentioned that thomas. Frank one of the characters in their their Most closely resembles him and his family dynamics and what that was like Interesting but he also notes that chapter in completely autobiographical. You can kind of see a lot of his experiences at weeding into other characters edwin block who also got A masters degree in in literature in in the arts You've got multiple characters who are how He works with native american a mental health. Maybe it was general health Services at points in earlier. Jackie and A lot of you mentioned a product. Kind of similar to dean. He had done a project that as well kind of like the story. Core fashion videoing. Someone telling you personal story on one thing. I was particularly excited to raid is that a sequel is in the works. Yes we'll get to know what finally happened these people. Yes i was like all the edge of my seat last night when you were talking about how you were so like kinda distraught by the open ending. Yeah speculating who's left. And who you want to hear more. I know the sequel. I don't know it'll be a sequel about the whole cast of characters or if it's just one of them i know details Anything says he's working on it. So that's a bit about tommy orange. While they're they're like engine with his first novel to come out Won a bunch of awards. American book award between nineteen. He was a finalist for the pulitzer prize for fiction Won the national book critics circle award the hemingway foundation pen award Some of those awards specifically for highlighting diversity in american literature others for new emerging authors. The posers for people who are fantastic brags all it's ours. He's covering the board. Yeah wow doing was a little synopsis. We kind of hit on the the big ending in some of the plot points. Yeah sure this is the Yeah we've we've said most of this already. But a collection of individuals stories. centered around the native american experience in oakland so thinking more about the urban native american experience rather than like on a reservation or something And it sort of his all culminating towards a what do they call the. The great powwow of oakland. I think the big oakland power. Big oakland out. That's what they call it and to paraphrase victoria shit goes down. So yeah it's really more Not a lotta time passes in the present tense of the novel. It's a lot more seeing each individual character. Live out of their lives but then getting a bunch of flashbacks and backstory. So it's a lot more about the history of these individual people and then most of the plot occurs in the last section At the paulo itself basically the power robbed and then a bunch of guns and stuff it's gets messy that's basically it. It's a not complicated. But i'm at any would be complicated to right. If that makes sense Take a lot of time to position. All these stories together the way that they are sort of covers some major themes about identity and specifically the identity of urban native americans and kind of their connection to their history and their culture to different degrees and also covers stocks about addiction and generational trauma is a big one p there. This is victoria. If you enjoying the podcast today we invite you to share your support in one of three ways or all three. You can leave us. A five star. Review on apple podcast. It's really that simple when you click those five stars and a quick note. That's a way that you can help. Make our podcast visible to new listeners. The second way is to you give a one time financial gift to us using our bias. A coffee link on our website when you do this. You're helping the cost of the podcast including paying awesome engineer and supporting our local bookstores. And last you can also subscribe to pot hero. You can provide ongoing support for us in all of your favorite podcasts. With a single five ninety nine per month subscription and. Yeah we're using pottier ourselves to to follow and support our favorite podcasts. For a limited time pod here will donate an additional five dollars to our show on your behalf when you join using the link on our website. So thanks for your support. Everyone we love making the shout me hope to keep doing so long as you ask cape listening now back to the books. So there's twelve characters in this novel and julia and i were like which ones should be focusing on and the I think i listed six of them. Yeah and then added two more. So we'll see how much we have time for today. But i've wanted to first address one element of oranges writing. That stands out almost immediately as his use of point of view Talking about point of view. I mean it's partially. Like whose eyes are we looking through But also Concretely which pronouns are using our wait list. The speaker talking about myself is an omniscient third is a at pass tons of the future tense So his he plays with point of view intense. So much I took a painstaking amount of time to map. Every single chapter tensor using but what stood out to me to was he starts in A war i can never sent a royal. We thank you Back on for listeners are the child. I couldn't say my rs and ws. And i still have problems with that. So phrases like the royal third person. There we go or plural person sorrow. I now yes. And it is. The of course of voices of native americans speaking to The readers Pretty pointedly about like this is the hardship and oppression of the native. american people. Adhere is actually happened at what you call thanksgiving. This is actually what happened with Us government's role in Pushing aside native american communities to advance the interests of white people He also writes at a very stunningly way but really sets the tone from the. Yeah and then jump into it. We've got tony moment. A first person point of view accounts we at some more a little more distant but closed third person point of view. And then eventually. My favorite momma is Outstanding rated second person so this is a. You're talking like a general you at or to a specific person you. You'd be like you would go to the store and you will grab a gallon of milk and you will check out the stats. Speaking in second person But entire chapter in this way that tells the story of an individual yet a list. Thomas frank is the first character. Talk about but i can't contain myself. Oh it's so good at it and it's the last one before the pow. It's like the last long term individual story it's definitely a very tricky n fascinating way to write a character. I think it's a really fascinating way to put the reader okay. I'm missing that. We're literally belly. Feels like oranges putting the author in the character. Shoes like a really direct way like he could have said. Imagine at the very beginning. He doesn't but i feel like the one with her interpret. What he's doing. So thomas frank again it is big. Is thomas frank. One telling himself you or is the author kind of putting the reader. As like imagine you were thomas Could be both end is going to read it to get a little more context. Our listeners here will work if you said this was the most autobiographical for him. As far as the family dynamics of a evangelical christian mother who's white at a native father is it a way of addressing himself this passage to that kind of slips into while he subsidy using we a little bit which is interesting so goes later. You remember your mom saying to take drugs was like sneaking into the kingdom of heaven under the gates it seems to you more like the kingdom of hell but maybe the kingdom is bigger and more terrifying than we could ever know. Maybe we've all been speaking the broken tongue of angels and demons too long to know that that's what we are who we are. What was speaking. Maybe we don't ever die but change always in the state without hardly ever even knowing that we're in it goes back to more like concrete description so when you get off at the causing station you walk over the pedestrian bridge with butterflies in your stomach. You do and don't want to be there. You want to john but also to be heard drumming not as yourself but just as the drum. I found that interesting because it turns a little bit more like. I can't think the right word here. More reflective so a lot of its describing cut of concrete things as you. But then there's some really poetic passages to that more speculative like at the beginning he opens up. You were a. He's the imagery of a russian doll. Unlike there so many possibilities but you were the of in your mom's ovaries of all the chances that became you. Yeah and so the second person also feels a bit like he's not quite there you know like he's trying he's trying very hard not to be in himself in his own body in his own life in a way and he uses as the. He's part of the drummer. The group of drummers at the pow out and it seems like practicing. Drums is like one of the only places where he feels good about himself. Speaking of disassociation as one of the other characters. I really wanted to talk about Also kind of carries a bit of that disassociation ogle viola victoria bear shield. Who's got as interesting name. As she is a character so many different facets to her and you mentioned Prepping that she is kind of like a stone. She's removed herself from her native american identity and try to kind of push set aside and hardened herself because of the pain and the trauma that she's experienced in her young life and then when we see her. It's interesting too 'cause she's one of the characters that we get like a very detailed story of her childhood and then also a lot of extra As a An adult She is taking care of her sister's grandchildren And she works as a male persson and has her audiobooks and music going all day. Just kind of rounding everything out In disassociating while they're still a glimmer especially towards the end like she deeply deeply cares for her sister's grandson And even though. She hasn't really introduced her grandsons at all to their native heritage. She's a grandma she knows. She knows her one grandson oracles like going to go dance at the pow. Wow so she sneaks into part of it yeah she's probably. She's probably the most grandma of the grandma's grandma's in this story. A lot of people being raised by the grandmothers or in this case. Great aunt she feels the most like your stereotypical grandma. Who's already the mohsen naturally motherly. I don't. I don't know how exactly to describe it. But the sense of like a stalwart kind of immovable old woman who is like the bedrock of her at grandchildren's lives and she creates a really good home for them and they seem to have a really good boys seemed ever relationship with each other and their family is feels the most out of all of them but it's at great personal cost to herself. She She cuts off so much personal or as you said like drowns it out and she tells us that she's like yes. I know i'm doing this. But it's the only way i can keep going and i have gone for these boys part of what she drowns out is. She like part part of how she copes with her trauma is. She's very very superstitious. And she has this kind of magical streak to her where she like. She has this kind of voice in her head that she drowns out. You sort of see her address it two different times when she's young it's sort of distance from her and it's the voice of her teddy bear and when she's older when one of her grandsons get shot and she's in the hospital and she finally opens herself up to that voice again and she is trying to figure out what it is in this very tense moment in she sees it sort of as a voice of god but also she recognizes that it's herself and it's a way of thinking about bigger questions in talking to herself in red like Wrestling with bigger feelings in bigger thoughts. It's kind of the way that she's Dealt with that in the past but she has a lyles conversation with her teddy bear. Yes okay so for context at this point. Young opal is on alcatraz island Which will get into. I found really fascinating because his one of many elements of this book. That i just was ignorant of that history. Back in the seventies there was a group of native american activists who occupied alcatraz island. So that's where opel is. Currently with her mother and sister this is the bare. Speaking t s. He says you know we're not so different. Both of us. Scott scatter names from pig brain demand. Take branch men with pigs for brains. Meaning columbus called you indians for us. It was teddy roosevelt's fault how he was hunting bear one time but then found this. Real scraggly old bear. He refused to shoot at then in the newspapers. There was a comic about that hunting story that made it seem like mr roosevelt was merciful. A real nature lover that kind of thing then. They made the little stuffed bear named teddy bear. Teddy bear became teddy bear. What they didn't say was that he slipped that old bears throat as that kind of mercy they don't want you to know about. And how do you know about any of this. You gotta know about the issue of your people how you got to be here. That's all based on what people done to get. You hear us bears you indians. We've been through a lot. They tried to kill us. But then when you hear them they make history seemed like one big heroic adventure across an empty forest. They were bears and indians all over the place sister. They slept all our throats. This martyrism that. I put him reading the entire book to you on my because it's a riveting story. Yeah that one. I mean first of all just mind blown about the teddy bear fact. You do not know that. Yeah and i think it's one of the first times. Tommy orange like throws in a discussion on He doesn't few times. But on how what native americans are called and kind of their different Monikers depending on who's talking But then to have that be a child. This is a child. She's like twelve in this story. This is a conversation. She's having with her teddy bear and it's like the last time she talks to him and then she leaves him and she sat him down and she comes back to find later and that voice that she used to hear from him has been sort of silenced. It's it's wild. I could unpack this for very long time. This like the big symbolism of saying like she leaves the behind like she's yet hushing that part of herself aside. It's in a way like a very traumatic coming of age. Yeah leaves her innocence in childhood in connection to herself and too like magic leaves it on the island and when her sister her mother and her leave alcatraz a bunch of other hardships unfold for the family Opel's really forced at that point to grow up. And i think that's kind of the beginning made that orange to say this is the beginning of when she shutting herself aside and dan stonewalling yourself particularly her heritage The fact that a story about herself and her identity is coming from this voice in the teddy bear and she puts that aside while this thing is happening all around her on this island. They're there for a few months on alcatraz but it doesn't seem to be doing anything It feels very much like a choice of like. That's when she started sort of ignoring that part of herself as well and so did a little more outside research for some context here when the ostriches prison closed the same as prison in the on island in the bay area It closed in nineteen sixty three. A native americans lobby to have the island turned into a cultural center in school for them. I have in attempts were made to break into the prison. But initially failed however reclaiming the rock became a rallying point and symbol to the. Us government's indifference to indigenous people so beginning in november nineteen sixty-nine a group of native american activists on alcatraz this lasted for nineteen months so when opal and her sister and mother there is a hidden hitler months with no longer timeframe so at one point as many as six hundred native americans lived on the island they set up a public health centre daycare in school and other resources for residents however there was some fallout as one of the influential families. That kind of spearheaded. This had some personal tragedy strikes. A lot of the activists were college. Student returned to campus after the winter. Break so by the end only a handful of people were living there. The us government response to this was Just let's ride it out like they didn't come in to force them out but they also didn't respond to the demands so they the group's goals were to develop the cultural center in school and outlined in a manifesto addressed to quoting the great white father in all his people and they surpassed offered to buy the island for the same small small-price that white people bought manhattan island for quote. Twenty four dollars in glass all so much shared. Oh dear is that really the not what people they really bought manhattan island for. Oh god okay. Who does the pay. The people living there fairly. I don't know the context that further research to behind history understand. So i found it interesting. That tommy orange includes in here this very pivotal historical moment For native american activists and ties in his characters to this larger Political conversation was happening and continues to happen. We also can't really talk about opel if we don't talk about jackie her half sister who's older than her and we were saying how opal kind of liked shuts down disassociates to deal with the trauma. Jackie has more external struggling with trauma. Yeah we meet her when she's or we get her perspective when she's much older and she's working as i already forgot what substance of you. Yes that thing even though she is currently struggling with alcoholism and is like maybe on day ten of sobriety after her most recent relapsed so alcatraz island is actually where she has her. I drink And it's Sort of a focal point for a lot of the traumas that we see her dealing with it later in her life and it's interesting that she so she she's attending this conference for work because she's working as like a counselor and she doesn't really want to be there. I think because it it the topics sort of bring up a lot of. They trigger her a lot. They bring up a lot of really painful memories so she's kind of checked out. You had a section that you wanted to read. I found it a couple of things here. jackie's character brought reminded me brought to light how difficult it is for people with generational trauma to support others in their community when they themselves are dealing with that trauma. And i think a lot of times with more maybe individualized. I am not a mental health. Professional might laypersons like thoughts. Here you know like you have to work through your own staff an email as a therapist they have. They own therapy To talk through with someone else Some things to kind of make sure they're providing the best of their clients when you talk this like generational trauma like jackie is still dealing with ally but is still putting herself in a place where she's like living in with other people to try to support them. There's also like an interesting conversation had to because everyone at this conference are other native americans or like also these like white women therapist that also feels problematic to kind of some white savior ism feelings in there. It's complicated one part also in jackie's introductory chapter visiting than what she says. But this is one of the attendees speakers at the conference who works in suicide prevention. When i'm here to talk about as how our whole approach since day one has been like this. Kids are jumping out of the windows of burning buildings falling to their deaths. And we think the problem is that they're jumping. This is what we've done. We've tried to find ways to get them to stop jumping. Convince them that burning alive is better than leading when the shit gets too hot for them to take. We've up windows and made better nets to catch them. Found more convincing ways to tell them not to jump the making the decision that is better to be dead and gone than to be alive in what we have here. This is the one we made for them. The one they've inherited either involved in have a hand in each one of their deaths. Just like i did with my brother or absent which is still involvement. Just like silence is not just silence but is not speaking about his that speech if felt like a really one of the most important parts of this whole book where because the the theme of it sort of weaves through so many different characters stories i if you know it impacts them in some way if not themselves than a family member yeah like you were saying when generational trauma enacted by a state may mean or an entire race of people fully acknowledged is never resolved is never repaired leg. It's ongoing i mean the the oppression of native peoples is ongoing. I mean a serious trauma genocide happened initially and like nothing has really been resolved. And so like this speech to me said so much about How like no one has really been a been able to heal and so it raises this question of like for someone. Like how can she help her grandsons. He'll when she can't And yeah and like basically. The burning building is the ongoing trauma and the habitable space that the united states has created for native peoples. And you know so. Many oppressed groups in our country that were for some groups. Things have improved. Said maybe a faster rate than others but Yeah it's so. And then i feel like the way that a discourse among white people at particularly i from what i remember growing up was about Oh those poor people who deal with addiction. Oh those poor people who have that group has a high suicide rate or whatever and but never a question of will why you know are they may be triggered discussion discussion of the symptoms. Yeah but no no adjust to the actual disease which is oppression. Yeah like no acknowledgement that. The building is on fire. And then just being like. Why are you jumping out. It's going to hurt you and completely denies the pain that is ongoing And yeah i like yeah this speech for me really I just saw. I saw in every single person story in different ways ended ends up triggering like jackie barely makes it through his speech and then has to run back to her hotel room to like sob uncontrollably because this is bringing up the memory of her daughter who struggled with addiction and ended up killing herself in her. Jackie was only founder. She has to like throw away her fridge and then throw the alcohol in the pool from the to like. She doesn't like harlem the alcohol away from herself in order to not drink it because like she needs it so desperately to try and cope with all this pain. That can't really be unfurled and it's just makes you really angry and upset on their behalf and makes you feel like wow. I'm only seeing this teeny tiny part. Tommy oranges exploring these ideas of identity and we get you know heavily. The generational trauma aspects specifically with jackie. And and then we also some characters who are biracial and have not grown up with connection to their native american heritage and they're searching it out in their young adult life so we have to characters specifically in black and blue who a big reveal later. The book is that they are actually half siblings. Don't even know it Blue is jackie's daughter that she gave up for adoption and was adopted by white parents She goes out to kind of like learn about her Native american heritage moves to oklahoma for a while but eventually after a abusive relationship Back to oakland And helped out with the powell committee. That's where she meets edwin black anoja. Nodule i wanted to talk about a little bit more in depth. He never knew his father. His white mother can give him a few details and it seems like his white mother is also very More involved with the native american community than maybe he was She works for the committee that puts the power or some sort of cultural centers of mike that And then her boyfriend bill who we don't have time to get into his story. Too much is native. American as well in block is really fascinating to me. Because he defies a lot of the stereotypes. I mean big win for these characters is that they are living in a city. They don't live in rural or the middle nowhere quote unquote reservations and so he grew up in the city. He grew up not really knowing much about his cultural background. She's very highly educated but Deals with not specifically stated but variety of Anxieties different mental health issues or blockers. That kind of keep him cooped up with himself but he does find outlet for himself like on the internet. I'm very much a digital age kid. And then his attempts to kind of get a job at the pressure of his family members. Who kind of looked down on him. He ends up working for the power committee. And that's how he needs blue. So that's a lot of context there. Yeah i knew. He peaks your interest to julia as someone who comes for may highly educated immediate and extended family who reads a lot of books but has a lot of mental health issues. His story felts familiar at a much more close to home. I think i. Yeah i to me. He felt more like a character. Who i've talked to in friends acquaintances friends family throughout college in my adult life. Where i'm are sort of millennial. Generation were very over educated for the jobs that are available and so have a very hard time. Getting work deal a lot of anxieties from being in sort of raised in the digital world and are also a conversation. I've had with a lot of people is how we're trying to find a real cultural heritage. We're trying to figure out who. We are as we sort of construct this myth of america ray like this myth of whiteness. This myth of america and kind of unpack are very gruesome and depressing history trying to find like our ancestors and so his journey. I thought was something i've seen in a lot of people that i know and wins. Search for identity and connection also reminds me of a whole lot of time to get into all the characters but orville especially. Who's the grandson of jackie. And him and his brothers have not really had much introduction to their Native american heritage through opel fryatt Uses the internet like. That's his connection. Point to watch dancers and to learn dancing he. He finds one of opel's regalia Outfits and he learned sedan sluggish just by using youtube videos or not. They say youtube explicitly visiting branding. But you know but he was online Probably just also fascinating to think about because communities so much for our generation is digital and in some ways it can be a detriment And there's a lot of studies out there about the mental the adverse mental health effects of extreme exposure to media and social media or excessive exposure. But at the same time it can be thought really meaningful connection point especially for a community that has been purposefully spread out diminished killed through genocide. that they don't have that immediate connection in bill to their immediate surrounding area and they can find that community online But in this back to you then we get the in-person community of the powell Which is also another concept. That i like you. I've heard people appropriate terms to mean like a meeting and that's not cool But then also. I didn't really have much understanding. That was an in the interlude. Orange includes description of what is how its second intertribal meeting. It's more of a modern thing. It's a way to connect and make money To be able to sell their art and their clothing and meet with other native americans in celebrate their culture across different tribal groups. So the big thing. The big thing that happens at the pow is This guy named tapio who has sort of his collected some lost souls maybe some men around him and they are involved in various illegal activities and they owe money all of them. Oh money to someone and so they. Their conclusion is like okay. If we were gonna rob the prize money from the pow and then divided up. And then we'll all be square so you sorta you get introduced to that idea in the very first chapter and then slowly slowly bill to it at the very end and you sort of see how that explosion literally and figuratively kind of effects. All these storylines that we've seen But i think it's interesting because you get the background of three different guys including octavio. Who are involved in this robbery and so that you can kind of try and see why they're doing it. Which is it feels kind of rare. Maybe it's not. Maybe this is a normal thing that we get now in literature but feels kind of rare because it I don't know. Like i found octavia story very very moving and a great example of you know The impact the sort of reverberations that Violence has on people's lives. He watches his father. Get killed right in front of him. His father's like protecting him from a- stream of bullets and literally dies in front of his eyes and After that various family members are also killed end up getting very close to his younger cousins and they ended up getting involved in drug dealing and stuff. But it He so much more than that and you. I don't know i. I wanted so much more for him. And i. it's so heartbreaking. Watching him slowly lose everyone in his life Like i really wanna like him. Yeah he's so. I really wanna root for him. And he's gone through so much but then also i'm so mad him because i am also grew to love these other characters. Who are enjoying the powell in having these very big reconnection moments with a strange parents than like. There's so much hope for what could happen. This one particular day But from the get go. 'cause the very first story in this book we get a heads up that they plan to rob the Gunpoint And i also found it interesting. The logistics of it like this palo has security in cuddle detectors. But they have a three d. printer of the three Three d print working guns Tony loan menace. Told to throw the bullets over the fence in a sock into the bushes. So that thing get past security in find it that day and it's hard because i think it adds to the nuance of these characters in this book. Which is sometimes. I like that too often. It's just new on it. It's like a cliche word in some ways to us but Still important though. It's important to understand that this violence doesn't happen out of seemingly nowhere and it's a lot of people's faults that make sense. Yeah it's orange. Dozen tommy launch doesn't Try to convince you that no one is in control of their own actions in the story but he also doesn't let you just summit up as of are bad people making bad choices. Yeah it's people who have been hurt and marginalized oppressed in carrying generations of trauma put in positions to make very difficult decisions and some people people choose different ways to react as well to their circumstances. Yeah i think Part of why you wanna like octavio also is because he tommy orange does right in a foil for him that's much worse as sort of inactivity to people. But they're talked about one person with this so their names are charles carlos but archaeologists calls them carlos. Big i mean because carlos is just the spanish version of charles and other kind of one person When octavio is finished robbing the powwow. No one had gotten shot. No guns had gone off. It was going to go off a hitch and char lows try to steal the whole thing from him and start firing and so then other people start firing like they just sort of. It's kind of like One of the guys. Who's there a well. Charles is doing something wrong. But he's my brother. So i can't let octavio kill him and then tony's like well i can't let them collect. Tv oh and then he sees that these guns are going off in hitting. There's a bunch of stray bullets that are hitting other people and so tony sort of sacrifices himself in runs into the line of fire to take someone out you have someone to be angry at. Who isn't octavio someone who's perspective. You haven't gotten Ray so it's kind of It felt like kind of a work around for time. You're just like a. I'm still gonna give you someone to be angry at even though i'm providing more nuance for these people which yes Just like having a villain. We like having someone to blame when things go wrong. Two of his closest relatives are who survive or his grandmother and his uncle and his uncle is a more violent guy. Who's the cause of a lot of his loss and so there's sort of this line of survival of violence like he wasn't given the opportunity to grow up in his very loving family and he you see him sort of really struggling to care for the people in his life and try to make the most of bad situation a tough story but yeah and then you get all these stray bullets start hitting everyone so many people die leg half the characters you meet dodi or are presumed dead and you know we have tony. Who is shot and killed avenue shot but a taken to the hospital and we don't know for sure if he survives or not. Bill davis who has wins mother's boyfriend Shot and killed. Calvin johnson presumed dead though does explicitly say thomas dies of shot. Thomas frank sean killed. It's yeah it's intense in the way the pacing is just extremely well done to you're switching perspectives. Every few paragraphs basically feels very chaotic. Yeah yeah and there's so little resolution like he the conversation between like there's so many conversations that still need to be had there were so many people whose marks could have found some resolution in the completion of the pow outright in dancing and playing the drums and telling stories and talking to their families and so many stories could have been resolved and they were interrupted by this incredible loss and so and then it just ends with this First year uncertain about whether orville and edwin are gonna make it. You're there with them in the hospital. And then you get this sort of Monologue from tony's point of view as he's dying and that sort of book ends the story in That's the end of the book and it's a really beautiful conclusion. I realized i wanted to read it but you have the book soil. Summarize read it. Yeah just the last paragraph. Tony is back on the field. Every hole is a burn and poll. Now he feels as if he might not flow up but instead fallen side of something underneath him. There's an anger something. He's been routed to all this time. As if in each hole there is a hook attached to a line pulling him down a wind from the bay sweeps through the stadium moves through him. Tony here's a bird. Not outside from where he's anchored to the bottom of the bottom. The middle of the middle of him the center center. There's a bird for every hole in him singing keeping him up keeping him from going. Tony remember something. His grandma said to him when she was teaching him how to dance. You have to dance like birds singing in the morning. She said and showed him how light she could be on her feet. She bounced her toes. Pointed in just the right way dancers feet dancers gravity. Tony needs to be light now. But the winds seeing through the holes in him. Listen to the birds singing. Tony isn't going anywhere. And summer in their inside him where he is. We're who always be even now. It is morning in the birds. The birds are singing. Your yeah i just like one of the many many guam's at tommy oranges like poetic style of writing to which is so beautiful. I love the repetition and like the the change in the pacing. The sentences something. I've read about like part of the harm. Done to indigenous people in relocating them forcing to different parts of the land or removing them from their land completely moving them to cities. is the violence of the Disconnecting people from the earth Fats when europeans came in they europeans were already so disconnected from the earth that they just wanted to plunder it and had shut off their emotional connection to nature almost completely And that severing was enacted on native people and It seems like part of tommy. Oranges mission in this book is to show how on even if you live in a even if you live in a city you are still native to that land. That is your homeland. Now and you are intimately connected with it and so this paragraph to me felt a bit like that of tony finding something in him that was always there in his like finally finding his connection to nature. You hear the birds he feels this poll. The center of himself to the center of the earth And it's so beautiful. And it's so heartbreaking that it doesn't happen until the moment that he is but Yeah i i just yeah i really really loved up and it was also so upsetting to be like that's the ending. You're just like but but wait for what happens. What we just gotta wait for the sequel sequel. So yeah overall an incredible book. Can we see what he writes next. So after reading this book. What would we recommend people dig into next Yeah i Mentioned it earlier. But i think girl woman other in terms of structure would be a great follow up to this one. We also covered it on the podcast. So you can check that out. There's a technically tecom. Comedic stand up special but it more emotional than funny but john leguizamo 's His special latin history for morons on net flicks is the story of him digging into the history of south america more. So and the native peoples from there on behalf of his son his son's working on a history project and it's sort of a catalyst for him like digging up a bunch of his own story trying to find you know his connection to the past and it's moving and entertaining and really incredible. I think if you want amazing content about the lives of native peoples from today indigenous pirate. Radio is a podcast. I think i've mentioned before hosted by people from different tribes and they talk about things that are happening in their communities and then the last thing is a show. I haven't watched it a long time. I watched it back in college. So i am summaries a little rusty but it's a show. I think it's still a net. Flix called clever man from australia And it's the sort of origin of it was an indigenous guy who wanted to create a superhero for his son that was connected to their History and so he found. It's sort of a mixture of real folklore from their people about this figure called the clever man in connection with modern day and the current political civil rights struggles that they have And so this boy sort of has this power thrust upon him in yester- try and defend his people. And i absolutely loved it i am. I think there's only one or two seasons. I don't think it lasted very long. But yeah. I would recommend that as well i mentioned earlier. The episode interpretive maladies by jim for the he offer similar style though it is a collection of short stories instead of a novel or maybe similar approach messenger style as far as seem content goes arctic episode of the largest podcast as well as a documentary that they put out and It is the podcast hosts traveling to the arctic circle and there Time learning from indigenous people who live affair end really really good really incredible interviews end. Yeah appropriately calls all of us. White people out on our shit And then to recommendations for myself in an interview orange with asked other literature out there by native american authors. He would recommend so. I took note on looking forward to reading these myself. Heart buries a memoir by therese. Murray mill hot. She is additions from the seabird island band and grew up in british columbia and she actually graduated in the same class as tommy orange at the institute of american indian arts So that is a on my list for sure memoirs read at my alley books types of both like and then a collection of poetry by a lakota poet lately long soldier her collection whereas She's writing response to a joint resolution from us. Congress that came out to nine That acknowledges quote along history of official depredations in ill-conceived policies by the federal government regarding indian tribes and offer an apology to all native peoples on behalf of the united states. So it's her response to that That's not really fascinating as a premise of approaching collection and sounds like a wonderful region. That okay and then the most important part of the show currently obsess a go. I my list is very short this week. 'cause i've talked about everything on still watching so there's a show. I'm watching with natasha. That s- Right up the alley of anyone who likes elite on net flicks This is also called tiny pretty things and it's basically elite but in america at a dance academy set in chicago. There's a lot of murderer. Ed intrigue but the dancing is very very good. They're real dancers. And i have been very impressed. It means sacrifice a little bit of the quality tile is a little stilted but the dancing is not super so yes i am in the middle of that it is intense. Not for the faint of heart. So yeah so. Julia has gotten me on board with erie on her. Washing jeremy out to the theme song which i'm like. We need to play this on a podcast. It's just a whole three minutes of the episode as silently had banging to it. I mean it's not really high. But that's how i react to any anime intro music that i really like. I don't know that's my response. Great wonderful television As podcasts go. I still like in the midst of all my favorites one. I don't think. I recommend it on the show yet. efficient auto by delaney fisher It's really great podcasts. For people who are entrepreneurs or creatives who wanna bring some simplicity organization to their work Allies and i really liked the episode's because it's not just her giving advice and talking at you. It's like a one sided but kind of interactive workshops together as she's got worksheets can download online You can pause episode and right out your responses. of course i'm always listening to these like wow. I'm going for a walk. So i don't fully engage in the way that they're intended to be but I just listened to one recently on decluttering your life and it spurred me to throw out a bunch of stuff. I don't need or at least put it in a pile to go up but having made its way out the door but additionally i have been enjoying yoga with agents thirty day challenge for twenty twenty one Breath if you are interested in yoga but not really experienced with it. I think her thirty day challenges are good entry point. This is maybe a little faster pace than some of her previous ones of your brand brand new. Maybe try home which came out last year. But it's been nice to have like a. I think on my to do list everyday. That feels like i accomplished something. I finished it but also makes me feel really good relaxed in helping me get more flexible and moving my body when it's really cold and i never will if you have thoughts on their their by telling me we would love to hear it so you can have instagram. Dms there or she doesn't up through our website booklet with jd. Dot com bullets other shipmates. There you can also along to see what we're reading next and catch some cool means and julia leaves and her stories on instagram. At the club with jay. Be a big thing to greg. Berger sound engineer for making a sound good and creating original music another big. Thank you to go. Evelyn for our design. Thinking will catch you. Guys next episode is happy reading.