NEA Big Read

The National Endowment for the Arts Big Read—a partnership with Arts Midwest—broadens our understanding of ourselves and our neighbors through the power of a shared reading experience. The goals of the NEA Big Read are to inspire meaningful conversations, celebrate local creativity, elevate a wide variety of voices and perspectives, and build stronger connections in each community.

book cover of There There

Tommy Orange – There There

A finalist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize and recipient of the 2019 PEN/Hemingway Award, Tommy Orange’s There There follows 12 characters from Native communities as they travel to the Big Oakland Powwow, all connected to one another in ways they may not yet realize. Together, this chorus of voices tells of the plight of the urban Native American, “sublimely render[ing] the truth of experiences that are passed over” (San Francisco Chronicle). “Brilliantly, furiously, magnificently, tragically, the story of America” (Elle), Orange crafts a novel of “pure, soaring beauty” (New York Times Book Review), “pulling together the intimacies of family, community, history, and violence” (Rumpus).

“We are the memories we don’t remember, which live in us, which we feel, which make us sing and dance and pray the way we do, feelings from memories that flare and bloom unexpectedly in our lives like blood through a blanket from a wound made by a bullet fired by a man shooting us in the back for our hair, for our heads, for a bounty, or just to get rid of us.” — There There

Upcoming Events


Big Read Kickoff

Join us at 6PM on Friday, March 8, at the Historic Arkansas Museum for our Big Read Kickoff! This event features notes by Dr. Daniel Littlefield of the Sequoyah National Research center, Jewel Cunningham of the American Indian Center of Arkansas, and tours of HAM’s We Walk In Two Worlds exhibition.

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Lecture by Dan Littlefield, director of the Sequoyah National Research Center

Join us at noon on Thursday, March 28, at the UA Little Rock Campus for a lecture by Dan Littlefield, director of the Sequoyah National Research Center. This will be held in the Dickinson Hall Auditorium, Room 100.

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Tommy Orange, author of There There and Wandering Stars

Tommy Orange is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel There There, a multigenerational, relentlessly paced story about a side of America few of us have ever seen: the lives of urban Native Americans. His next novel, Wandering Stars, will be released in February 2024.

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Participating Book Clubs


The Afterthoughts Book Club
American Indian Center of Arkansas Book Club
Avids Book Club
Big Live Book Club
Bite Into Books Book Club
Blessings 13
Bookish Broads
Book Biddies
The Bookies
Books, Thoughts & Talk
Brooks Library Big Read Listening Book Club
Central High School Book Club
Cover to Cover
Eliza’s Book Club
Evening Book Club
Glossary Grubs Book Club
Half and Half Book Club
Lite Book Club
Literary Lushes
Marie’s Book Club
Maumelle Library Book Club
Nixon Book Buddies
NLR Office of Energy and Environment
No Name Book Club
Overbooked Book Club
Owls Book Club
PEO Book Club
Rooker Readers
Ruth Veasey Reading Club
Spanish Book Club
Sturbridge Ladies’ Book Club
Thompson Book Club
UA Little Rock Book Club
The Unnamed Book Club
Villages of Wellington Women’s Book Club
The Virgin Book Club
Wednesday’s Girls
WELLS (Woodlands Edge Ladies Literary Society)
Wildwood Ladies Book Club
Wine Club/Book Club
Ya Ya Sisters