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WellRead April Selection: Wandering Stars by Tommy Orange

WellRead April Selection: Wandering Stars by Tommy Orange

WellRead's selections aren't known for just one thing. Sometimes we choose light reads, sometimes heavy hitters. Either way, we like to keep you on your toes. 

This month, we're heading to North America. In the wake of Colorado's Sand Creek Massacre of 1864, we begin a journey through the generations, landing in Oakland, California in 2018 in the aftermath of the Big Oakland Powwow shooting. 

As we follow the generations, the impacts of settler colonialism are clear – they share the same signature across continents, after all. 

Wandering Stars is a unique novel in that it's both a prequel and a sequel to Orange's 2018 release, There There. You don't need to have read There There to pick up the threads of the story, but if you have, you'll see some familiar names, including that of the endearing Orvil Red Feather. 

Exploring the impacts of intergenerational addiction – particularly to legalised substances like alcohol and prescription medications – we see how those affected often suffer in silence with very little support socially or institutionally. 

But Wandering Stars isn't without beautiful glimmers of hope – familial loyalty, a reckoning with the past and what it means to take hold of your own future when no one else is going to do it for you. 

This one's a heavy hitter and for good reason. We hope it moves you like it did us. 

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