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There There by Tommy Orange: There There

Location and Characters

  • Oakland, CA: Located in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area of Oakland, CA. It is home to many of the characters in There There. All of the characters in the novel come together at the Big Oakland Powwow.
  • Tony Loneman: Lives with his grandmother, Maxine, and works for Octavio. He has fetal alcohol syndrome, which he refers to as "the Drome."
  • Dene Oxendene: Tries to carry on the work of his uncle, Lucas, to "document Indian stories in Oakland." Has a booth set up at the powwow to record people's stories.
  • Opal Viola Victoria Bear Shield: Lives with her great-nephews Orvil, Loother, and Lony. She and her half-sister Jacquie were on Alcatraz with their mother, Vicky, during American Indian Movement's occupation of the island.
  • Edwin Black: Works on the powwow committee and lives with his mother Karen. Reaches out online to his father, Harvey, who he plans to meet for the first time at the powwow.
  • Bill Davis: A Vietnam veteran, he works at the Oakland Coliseum (where the powwow is held) and is in a relationship with Karen, Edwin's mother.
  • Calvin Johnson: Works on the powwow committee, and is dragged into the robbery plan by his brother Charles, who works for Octavio.
  • Jacquie Red Feather: Has been living in Albuquerque and is a substance abuse counselor. After a chance meeting in Phoenix with Harvey, she decides to return home and meet her grandsons, who have been living with Opal.
  • Orvil Red Feather: 14 years old, he has taught himself to dance by watching YouTube. He takes his younger brothers to the Big Oakland Powwow, where he will dance in public for the first time. 
  • Octavio Gomez: A drug dealer, he lives with his grandmother Josefina. His uncle Sixto caused the deaths of most of Octavio's family. 
  • Daniel Gonzales: Octavio's cousin and younger brother of Manny, who has been killed. Daniel is a coder, and shows Octavio what 3D printing can do.
  • Blue: The daughter of Jacquie and Harvey, she was adopted by white parents and raised in the suburbs. She returns to Oakland after five years living in Oklahoma, and is the head of the powwow committee.
  • Thomas Frank: A drummer at the powwow, he formerly worked at the Indian Center as a janitor.
  • Harvey: Lives in Phoenix and is the emcee of the Big Oakland Powwow. He learns during the course of the novel that he has two grown children.

There There by Tommy Orange