An Evening with Tommy Orange

Tuesday, October 15, 2019, 7:00 pm
Photo of Tommy Orange kneeling in front of a fence
Celebrate the winner of the 2019 Gina Berriault Award: Tommy Orange. He is the author of There There, a multi-generational, relentlessly paced story about a side of America few of us have ever seen: the lives of urban Native Americans. Winner of the 2019 PEN/Hemingway Award and one of The New York Times' top books of 2018, There There shows us violence and recovery, hope and loss, identity and power, dislocation and communion, and the beauty and despair woven into the history of a nation and its people. In conversation with Carolina De Robertis. Supported by the George and Judy Marcus Fund. Free.
Creative Arts Building, Knuth Hall
Creative Writing Department, Fourteen Hills
Creative Writing Department
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Tommy Orange

After noticing a lack of stories about urban Native Americans, Oakland native Tommy 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 12 characters who each have private reasons for traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow, and who come together after a brutal act of violence.

Orange is a 2014 MacDowell Fellow and a 2016 Writing by Writers Fellow, as well as a recent graduate from the Master of Fine Arts program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. He is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes of Oklahoma.

Gina Berriault Award

Peter Orner, in conjunction with Fourteen Hills Press, inaugurated the Gina Berriault Award in 2009 to pay homage to the eponymous writer, a former San Francisco State professor who with every story embodied a certain selflessness and unflinching compassion. The award is given annually to a writer with a similar spirit who has shown a love for storytelling and a commitment to helping young writers. Past recipients include NoViolet Bulawayo, Cristina García, Yiyun Li and Adam Johnson.

Fourteen Hills Press

Fourteen Hills Press established its nonprofit literary journal, Fourteen Hills: The San Francisco State University Review, in 1994. Staffed and produced by graduate students in the Creative Writing Department, the journal’s alumni includes recipients of Pulitzer, Pushcart and O. Henry prizes, as well as state laureate recognition.



Photo by Elena Seibert