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A Native American tragedy: Wandering Stars, by Tommy Orange, reviewed

Shocked to find that his Cheyenne forebears had been imprisoned in Florida, Orange was inspired to write a story of displacement and abuse spanning generations

8 June 2024

9:00 AM

8 June 2024

9:00 AM

Wandering Stars Tommy Orange

Harvill Secker, pp.336, 18.99

‘You will ask the librarian what novels are written by Indian people and she will tell you that she doesn’t think there are any,’ reflects Victoria Bear Shield, a Native single mother in Tommy Orange’s polyphonic second novel. It is 1954, in America, and she is working out how to rear her baby daughter so that the child is not puzzled, as she herself was, by being ‘the brownest person in every room’.

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