SAN LUIS OBISPO – Cuesta College’s 2022 Book of the Year program brings bestselling Native American writer Tommy Orange to the San Luis Obispo campus on Thu, Apr. 21, from 5–7 p.m. 

Orange is the author of the acclaimed debut novel There There. Set in the East Bay of California, the impactful book follows twelve characters from Native communities traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow, all connected to one another in ways they may not realize.

“We are so excited to have Tommy Orange here in person, speaking to our campus and community,” said Carina Love, Chair of the Book of the Year Committee.

Orange will appear for a conversation and book signing at the Cuesta College Harold J. Miossi Cultural and Performing Arts Center mainstage theater. General admission tickets are $5.00 and may be purchased at Complimentary tickets for students are available by emailing North County residents are welcome to attend a free live simulcast of Orange’s presentation at Cuesta College’s North County Campus, Dallons Hall, Room N3102.

Students, employees, and visitors who access Cuesta College campuses must provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative test within 72 hours of the campus visit. Find out more about Cuesta College’s COVID-19 protocols at

An informational table will be set up by the North Fork Rancheria Tribal TANF, a federal and state agency that provides support to local Native Americans.

Tommy Orange is a graduate of the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts, a 2014 MacDowell Fellow, and a 2016 Writing by Writers Fellow. He is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma. Born and raised in Oakland, he currently lives in Angels Camp, California. 

The Cuesta College Academic Senate’s Book of the Year program is sponsored by the Cuesta College Friends of the Library, Cuesta College Equity and Student Success Committee, County of San Luis Obispo Public Libraries SLO Reads Program, and Cal Poly Student Diversity and Belonging. Events are made possible through donor support. Please consider donating to the Book of the Year program.