Native people and their stories are rarely (if ever) given the attention they deserve in American literature. In Orange's first novel, he manages not only to give Native peoples lives and stories their due attention but he also manages to create a narrative that rocks readers to their cores. If I were to compare this to anything I'd say it reminds me of HBO's hit The Wire. There There is made up of vignettes that give texture to each character while also driving its larger plot. At the end of it all there's really only one thing left to do - put on the blues.
Jonny is a 2-spirit indigiqueer who has a week to return home for his step-father's funeral. Told through a non-linear timeline that weaves together a coming of age story through stories of family and tradition, trauma and survival. It's a dark-tender hearted vision of indigenous life full of raw grit, violence and ample bodily fluids that will leave you on the edge of uncomfortable. Whitehead is a master of words whose command of language will leave you aching for more.
An incredible collection of words, art, photos, and expressions of Indigenous women by Indigenous women. This volume celebrates and amplifies the voices of these women and girls, who are so often silenced by white folks, by governments, by institutions, by men.
Open this book and listen with open ears and open hearts.