Wandering Stars

Wandering Stars by Tommy Orange

Wandering Stars

  • Hardcover
  • Knopf (2024)
  • SKU: 9780593318256
Regular price $29.00
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First print, first edition.

"No one knows how to express tenderness and yearning like Tommy Orange. With an all-seeing heart, he traces historical and contemporary cruelties, vagaries, salvations and solutions visited upon young Cheyenne people, who cope with the impossible. In them, Tommy finds the unnerving strength that results when a broken spirit mends itself, when a wandering star finds its place, when, in spite of everything, Native people manage to survive." —Louise Erdrich

The Pulitzer Prize-finalist and author of the breakout bestseller There There delivers a masterful follow-up to his already classic first novel. Extending his constellation of narratives into the past and future, Tommy Orange traces the legacies of the Sand Creek Massacre of 1864 and the Carlisle Indian Industrial School through three generations of a family in a story that is by turns shattering and wondrous.

Colorado, 1864. Star, a young survivor of the Sand Creek Massacre, is brought to the Fort Marion Prison Castle, where he is forced to learn English and practice Christianity by Richard Henry Pratt, an evangelical prison guard who will go on to found the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, an institution dedicated to the eradication of Native history, culture, and identity. A generation later, Star's son, Charles, is sent to the school, where he is brutalized by the man who was once his father's jailer. Under Pratt's harsh treatment, Charles clings to moments he shares with a young fellow student, Opal Viola, as the two envision a future away from the institutional violence that follows their bloodlines.

Oakland, 2018. Opal Viola Victoria Bear Shield is barely holding her family together after the shooting that nearly took the life of her nephew Orvil. From the moment he awakens in his hospital bed, Orvil begins compulsively googling school shootings on YouTube. He also becomes emotionally reliant on the prescription medications meant to ease his physical trauma. His younger brother, Lony, suffering from PTSD, is struggling to make sense of the carnage he witnessed at the shooting by secretly cutting himself and enacting blood rituals that he hopes will connect him to his Cheyenne heritage. Opal is equally adrift, experimenting with Ceremony and peyote, searching for a way to heal her wounded family.

Tommy Orange once again delivers a story that is piercing in its poetry, sorrow, and rage and is a devastating indictment of America's war on its own people.

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