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Common Reading 2019: There There by Tommy Orange

The Book

The Author

Photo: Elena Seibert

Tommy Orange

"...[T]oday’s harsh realities are not all that surprising for some of us — for people of color, or for people from marginalized communities — who have long since given up on being shocked or dismayed by the news, by what this or that administration will allow, what this or that police department will excuse, who will be exonerated, what this or that fellow American is willing to let be, either by contribution or complicity. All this is done in the name of white supremacy under the guise of patriotism and conservatism, to keep things as they are, favoring white people over every other citizen, because where’s the incentive to give up privilege if you have it? Now more than ever I believe fiction can change minds, build empathy by asking readers to walk in others’ shoes, and thereby contribute to real change."

New York Times, 10/23/18.