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Tommy Orange, Wandering Stars, in conversation with Greg Sarris

March 1 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

The Pulitzer Prize-finalist and author of the breakout bestseller There There (“Pure soaring beauty.”The New York Times Book Review) delivers a masterful follow-up to his already classic first novel. Extending his constellation of narratives into the past and future, Tommy Orange traces the legacies of the Sand Creek Massacre of 1864 and the Carlisle Indian Industrial School through three generations of a family in a story that is by turns shattering and wondrous.

Colorado, 1864. Star, a young survivor of the Sand Creek Massacre, is brought to the Fort Marion Prison Castle, where he is forced to learn English and practice Christianity by Richard Henry Pratt, an evangelical prison guard who will go on to found the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, an institution dedicated to the eradication of Native history, culture, and identity. A generation later, Star’s son, Charles, is sent to the school, where he is brutalized by the man who was once his father’s jailer. Under Pratt’s harsh treatment, Charles clings to moments he shares with a young fellow student, Opal Viola, as the two envision a future away from the institutional violence that follows their bloodlines.

Oakland, 2018. Opal Viola Victoria Bear Shield is barely holding her family together after the shooting that nearly took the life of her nephew Orvil. From the moment he awakens in his hospital bed, Orvil begins compulsively googling school shootings on YouTube. He also becomes emotionally reliant on the prescription medications meant to ease his physical trauma. His younger brother, Lony, suffering from PTSD, is struggling to make sense of the carnage he witnessed at the shooting by secretly cutting himself and enacting blood rituals that he hopes will connect him to his Cheyenne heritage. Opal is equally adrift, experimenting with Ceremony and peyote, searching for a way to heal her wounded family.

Tommy Orange is a graduate of the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. An enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma, he was born and raised in Oakland, California. His first book, There There, was a finalist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize and received the 2019 American Book Award. He lives in Oakland, California.

Greg Sarris is currently serving his sixteenth term as Chairman of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria and his first term as board chair for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. His publications include Keeping Slug Woman Alive (1993), Grand Avenue (1994, reissued 2015), Watermelon Nights (1998, reissued 2021), How a Mountain Was Made (2017, published by Heyday), and Becoming Story (2022, published by Heyday). Greg lives and works in Sonoma County, California. Visit his website at greg-sarris.com.

Details

Date:
March 1
Time:
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Categories:
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Website:
https://www.dominican.edu/events/tommy-orange-wandering-stars-conversation-greg-sarris

Organizers

Dominican University of California
Book Passage

Venue

Angelico Hall, Dominican University of California
20 Olive Avenue
San Rafael, 94901
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