Saturday, January 4, 2020

Voices from Oakland, California / The Audacity of Hope in MMXX

The interview at the Oakland Public Library is well worth spending time with.  It took me the good part of this last week to hear all of it.  I recommend the whole interview, if you have time, along with Tommy Orange's book which ends with two pages of acknowledgments ending with:

"The Native community in Oakland.  My living Cheyenne relatives, and my ancestors who made it through unimaginable hardship, who prayed hard for us next ones here now, doing our best to pray and work hard for those to come."

While working on this post, I stopped to listen to this bookstore reading and discussion of There There in Washington, D.C., in 2018:

From There There:

Part I


In the dark times
Will there also be singing?
Yes, there will also be singing
About the dark times.
-- Bertolt Brecht

Part III


People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them.
-- James Baldwin

"Tony remembers something his grandma said to him when she was teaching him how to dance.  You have to dance like birds sing in the morning," she said, and showed him how light she could be on her feet.  She bounced and her toes pointed in just the right way.  Dancer's feet.  Dancer's gravity." (p. 290)


"Welcome to a brilliant and generous artist who has already enlarged the landscape of American fiction.  There There is a comic vision haunted by profound sadness.  Tommy Orange is a new writer with an old heart." (Louise Erdrich)

"... and the sequel has everything to do with how to come back from something that we can't even all agree on having happened ..." (Tommy Orange, from the last minutes of the Oakland Public Library interview)


Anonymous said...

Wow! There's so much to listen to and read and think about here. I love the lines by Bertolt Brecht. I'm looking forward to diving into the links. Thank you.

ellen abbott said...

we definitely need hope and singing. and dancing.because this country is morphing into a terrible place.

Sabine said...

There There is one of my favourite books of the ones I read in 2019. Thanks for posting this.