Friday, November 19, 2021

There There: A Novel

A listened to the entire audiobook without paying attention to the "A novel" portion of the title. I thought it was a work covering people in real life. There were a few random coincidences. However, those would be the ones that would end up the most interesting when distilling hours of interviews. Only after completing it did I realize it was a novel.

There There describes the ordinary lives of urban Indians in Oakland. They understand their "Indianness" in various ways. There are struggles in both integrating with society and accepting their unique identity. Many of them do not live pleasant lives. They have struggled both individually and collectively. Alcohol ends up being the cheapest medication. Alas, it creates its own problems. And alcohol is just one of the many struggles of the urban Indians. The Pow Wow is something of a unifying event for a disparate group of people that have been lumped together. However, even that creates its own type of conflict.

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