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Crazy Brave: A Memoir

Crazy Brave: A Memoir


Book Overview: Crazy Brave: A Memoir

In this transcendent memoir, grounded in tribal myth and ancestry, music and poetry, Joy Harjo, one of our leading Native American voices, details her journey to becoming a poet. Born in Oklahoma, the end place of the Trail of Tears, Harjo grew up learning to dodge an abusive stepfather by finding shelter in her imagination, a deep spiritual life, and connection with the natural world. She attended an Indian arts boarding school, where she nourished an appreciation for painting, music, and poetry; gave birth while still a teenager; and struggled on her own as a single mother, eventually finding her poetic voice. Narrating the complexities of betrayal and love, Crazy Brave is a memoir about family and the breaking apart necessary in finding a voice. Harjo's tale of a hardscrabble youth, young adulthood, and transformation into an award-winning poet and musician is haunting, unique, and visionary.

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PublisherW. W. Norton & CompanyW. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date2013-07-292012-07-09
EditionReprint2nd prt.
Dimensionsin x in x in
Weight lbs

Joy Harjo has always been able to see with more than her eyes. Her writing is a testament to this gift. Her memoir honors her own journey as well as those who fell along the wayside. Her hero's journey is a gift for all those struggling to make their way.--Sandra Cisneros

A "raw and honest" (Los Angeles Review of Books) memoir from the first Native American Poet Laureate of the United States.

A saga about the survival of spirituality and creativity in the face of generations of racism, dispossession, and familial dysfunction...Fantastic, terrible and beautiful.--Rebecca Steinitz "Boston Globe"

Stirring...In her harrowing and ultimately hopeful story, Harjo allows the reader to know her intimately, and we are enriched by her honesty.-- "Ms."

A must-read for her fans and a fascinating door into her world for those new to her work.--Elizabeth Wilkinson "Minneapolis Star Tribune"

Gritty and mystical...Reads like a sacred prayer.-- "San Francisco Chronicle"

Exquisite...A must-read for anyone who appreciates the healing power of literature.-- "Southwest"

Blunt, moving...[Affirms and acclaims] the artistic impulse.-- "Smithsonian"

Dances into hard truth. [Harjo's] fine crafting of words and deft braiding of mythic visions throughout the text almost--almost--draw you past the truth of her personal story. That story is harsh and scary, mystical and loving, and, ultimately, triumphant and healing.-- "Indian Country"

Joy Harjo is a giant-hearted, gorgeous, and glorious gift to the world. Her belief in art, in spirit, is so powerful, it can't help but spill over to us--lucky readers. Wildly passionate and honest as a hound, Crazy Brave invites us into a whole new way of seeing--deeper, less cluttered, and vastly more courageous than our own. It's a book for people who want to re-fall in love with the world.--Pam Houston

Joy Harjo, a name synonymous with Native American literature, is a renowned poet, musician, and writer. Born on May 9, 1951, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Harjo belongs to the Muscogee Creek Nation. Her deep-rooted ancestry has significantly shaped her literary works, drawing inspiration from indigenous mythology and cultural traditions. A graduate in Creative Writing from the University of Iowa, Harjo painted life's rich canvas through her poetry and prose, often shedding light upon the intricate cross-weave of Native American plight, resilience, and spirituality. Embraced globally for her creative brilliance, Harjo celebrated her poetic journey with the publication of nine books of poetry. Her most notable works include "She Had Some Horses," "In Mad Love and War," and the much-acclaimed "An American Sunrise." Adding to her acclaim, her memoir "Crazy Brave" received the PEN Center USA literary award for creative nonfiction, further solidifying her standing as an invaluable asset to the literary world. Harjo's unfathomable commitment to literature and cultural preservation crowned her as the first Native American U.S. Poet Laureate in 2019. In addition to her writing prowess, Harjo broadened her creative horizon to music, introducing five award-winning albums to the world. Her profound influence on American literature continually remains evident, as she upholds the voices and stories of her community through her spirited verse and rhythmic tunes.

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