Tommy Orange at Santa Fe Indian School

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Event Details

An Evening with Tommy Orange at Santa Fe Indian School


Doors open at 6 p.m., event begins promptly at 6:30 p.m.


Author Tommy Orange will be in conversation with Antonia Gonzales from National Native News to discuss his book and this year’s NEA Big Read title “There There”, as well as the author’s life.


Tommy Orange’s "There There" is an exceptional debut novel that grapples with the history of a nation while showcasing a side of America few of us have ever seen. After noticing a lack of stories about urban Native Americans, Orange created a remarkable work that explores those who have inherited a profound spirituality, but who are also plagued by addiction, abuse, and suicide.

"There There" tells the story of twelve characters who each have private reasons for travelling to the Big Oakland Powwow, and who come together after a brutal act of violence. Pam Houston praised the book, saying “This is Tommy Orange. Remember his name. His book’s gonna blow the roof off.”


Houston’s prediction proved to be correct: Orange’s "There There" is a national bestseller that won the PEN/Hemingway Award, the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize, the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, and the American Book Award. It was also shortlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. It appeared on countless “Best Books of the Year” lists, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, Time, O: The Oprah Magazine, GQ, Entertainment Weekly, and Buzzfeed.


A brilliant new writer at the start of a major career, Orange talks about his craft, the writing process, and Native American history and culture, often with meticulously researched visual presentations. In his 2017 opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times, “Thanksgiving is a tradition. It’s also a lie,” he confronted the violent past of the American holiday, asking readers to challenge their traditions.


Tommy Orange is a 2014 MacDowell Fellow and a 2016 Writing by Writers Fellow, as well as a recent graduate from the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. He is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma, and was born and raised in Oakland, California.


Antonia Gonzales is a member of the Navajo Nation and grew up in Arizona and New Mexico. She is the Anchor and Producer of the award winning nationally syndicated radio program National Native News, which airs on tribal and public radio stations across the United States and Canada; covering social, economic and cultural issues, which impact Indigenous people worldwide.

Antonia has worked for Koahnic Broadcast Corporation for nearly a decade. She started as an Associate Producer for KBC's nationally syndicated talk show Native America Calling. Before joining the Koahnic family, she was a one-woman-band television reporter for a CBS affiliate in Southeastern New Mexico where she covered two counties and followed stories such as large drug busts, cave rescue trainings and the famous annual bat flight at Carlsbad Caverns National Park.


This event will be live-streaming on

Live-stream will be available to view on the homepage of The Santa Fe New Mexican ( when the event is happening live.


2022 Santa Fe Reads is presented by the City of Santa Fe Public Library with the support from the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read* grant, local partner organizations, and 2022 sponsors—City of Santa Fe Arts and Culture Department, Collected Works Bookstore, Creative Santa Fe, Friends of the Santa Fe Public Library, New Mexico Humanities Council, Santa Fe Brewing Company, Santa Fe Indian School, and Santa Fe New Mexican.

*NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in Partnership with Arts Midwest.