Maryland Humanities Announces One Maryland One Book Community Programming

July 18, 2023

Maryland Humanities Celebrates 2023 One Maryland One Book Selection, There There by Tommy Orange, with Author Events and Partnerships with Indigenous Marylanders

Book cover of 2023 One Maryland One Book selection "There There" Orange background with yellow text and two feathers.(Baltimore, MD) – Maryland Humanities kicks off programming for One Maryland One Book 2023 with a virtual event with There There author Tommy Orange (Cheyenne and Arapaho) in conversation with Maryland-based writer Brendan Shay Basham (Diné) on September 7 at 6:00 PM Eastern. The author of the 2023 One Maryland One Book Selection will visit Maryland in-person at Salisbury University on October 12 at 7:00 PM for a public conversation with Dr. Isabel Quintana Wulf of the English Department, followed by audience Q&A and book signing. 

Released in 2018, There There tells the interconnected stories of a cast of twelve Native characters from across generational lines, as they converge toward the Big Oakland Powwow. Together, the stories give a riveting portrait of the what Orange calls the urban Indian experience. There There was one of The New York Times Book Review’s 10 Best Books of the Year, and won the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize, as well as the PEN/Hemingway Award.  

Maryland Humanities partners with local organizations such as The Handsell House, a nonprofit now owned by the Nanticoke Historic Preservation Alliance. The house sits on the Nanticoke River (also called the Chicone Village) in what many now known as Dorchester County. In conjunction with One Maryland One Book, the Handsell House will hold a community panel discussion on the topics of There There, in partnership with the Pocomoke Indian Nation and Dorchester County Public Library on November 12.

Highlighting the book’s focal point on Indigenous people who live in cities, Ashley Minner (Lumbee) will lead a walking tour of “the American Indian community of East Baltimore,” recently digitized at Attendees will travel to Hokahey Indian Trading Post, Vera Shank Daycare/Native American Senior Citizens, Inter-Tribal Restaurant, and more. The tours will be conducted in partnership with the Enoch Pratt Library. Every year, Maryland Humanities funds libraries, schools, and other organizations who plan to produce their own programming related to One Maryland One Book. The organization will announce logistical details on the Minner’s walking tour and the partner programming this fall.

There There was chosen as this year’s One Maryland One Book by a selection committee of twenty Marylanders, including teachers, scholars, librarians, writers, booksellers, and community workers representing ten counties and Baltimore City. A public call for books under the theme of “Connection” garnered nearly 300 titles, from which the committee then made their selection.

There There provides us an opportunity to connect with several Native American lives that feel immediate and relevant to the world today,” says Lindsey Baker, Executive Director of Maryland Humanities. “These characters are deeply rooted in their rich, often traumatic histories, yet are instantly recognizable to any reader. Tommy Orange shares with us their triumphs and their struggles, creating fully-rounded characters and journeys to follow.”

Both author events are free. Maryland Humanities will also collaborate with other partners across the state, including libraries, schools, universities, book clubs, and local Native/Indian organizations to conduct programs where readers can connect with each other and discuss the book’s themes. Maryland Humanities will distribute free copies of There There to partners. 

professional photograph of Tommy Orange, a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma. He wears a patterned jacket, black shirt, blue jeans, and baseball cap and sort of sits/crouches down. He is outside, surrounded by trees.About the Author
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. There There was one of The New York Times Book Review’s 10 Best Books of the Year, and won the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize and the PEN/Hemingway Award. There There was also longlisted for the National Book Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Orange graduated from the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts, and was a 2014 MacDowell Fellow and a 2016 Writing by Writers Fellow. He is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma. He was born and raised in Oakland, California.

A logo that says "" on the bottom. The logo is a cartoon, sort-of anthropomorphic book with stick legs and arms, and circles as hands and feet. It is walking to the left.Wandering Books: Where will you find There There?
Copies of the 2023 One Maryland One Book selection will be dropped off in public spaces in counties across the state as part of “Wandering Books,” a fun campaign that introduces readers to There There and the One Maryland One Book program. Anyone can receive clues about where to find books via Maryland Humanities’ Maryland Center for the Book Facebook page or by following @MDHumanities on Instagram. This year, libraries in Maryland will distribute books throughout their communities. After finding a copy of There There, readers can log on to and register their book’s ID number. Then, they can post a comment or review when they’ve finished reading. Following that, readers can then leave the book somewhere public for another reader to find and enjoy. Instructions are located inside the book cover. Participation is free. Those who register books will be automatically entered to win a $25 gift certificate to and must include their name and email to be eligible.

About One Maryland One Book

When we read a great book, we can’t wait to share the experience and talk about it with others. That’s one of the joys of reading.

In that spirit, through our Maryland Center for the Book program, Maryland Humanities created One Maryland One Book (OMOB) to bring together diverse people in communities across the state through the shared experience of reading the same book. We invite readers to participate in book-centered discussions and related programs at public libraries, high schools, colleges, museums, bookstores, and community and senior centers around the state.

OMOB programs, including an author tour, take place each year in the fall. A calendar of free public events—including the Author Events—will be available online beginning this summer.

About Maryland Center for the Book
The Maryland Center for the Book (MCFB)—an affiliate of the national Center for the Book in the Library of Congress—develops and supports literary programs and outreach activities that engage citizens across Maryland in literature and reading. As a program of Maryland Humanities, MCFB highlights our region’s literary heritage and calls attention to the importance of books, reading, literacy, and libraries.

Want to talk about the book or get updates on upcoming events? Join the conversation on the Maryland Center for the Book Facebook page.

Press Release