Crazy brave A memoir

Joy Harjo

Book - 2012

A memoir from the Native American poet describes her youth with an abusive stepfather, becoming a single teen mom, and how she struggled to finally find inner peace and her creative voice.

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BIOGRAPHY/Harjo, Joy
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Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor BIOGRAPHY/Harjo, Joy Due May 28, 2022
Subjects
Published
New York : W. W. Norton c2012.
Edition
1st ed
Language
English
Physical Description
169 p. : ill. ; 22 cm
ISBN
9780393073461
0393073467
Main Author
Joy Harjo (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Born to a Cherokee mother and a Creek father, Harjo is now one of the oldest living members of her family line. Explaining the impetus for writing this stirring memoir, she says, My generation is now the door to memory. Even as a child, Harjo loved poetry, which she called singing on paper, a love encouraged by the novel-like dream stories told by her Cherokee Irish grandmother. Harjo calls the years from elementary school through adolescence an eternity of gray skies, as first her father and then her stepfather were consumed by alcoholism and became abusive. Once she enrolls at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, she feels as if she's finally been set free and that she and her fellow students were part of an enormous indigenous cultural renaissance. Harjo mimics her mother's bad marriage choices but is eventually saved from her demons and the panic attacks that haunt her by the all-encompassing spirit of poetry. In her harrowing and ultimately hopeful story, Harjo allows the reader to know her intimately, and we are enriched by her honesty. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Winner of the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers' Circle, poet/performer Harjo writes verse suffused with spiritual concern, sociopolitical hunger, and evidence of her Muskogee Creek heritage. This memoir returns to her youth (abusive stepfather, Indian arts boarding school, single motherhood as a teenager) to disclose how she became a poet. Expect beautiful writing, and look how popular Leslie Marmon Silko's The Turquoise Ledge was. [Page 50]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

This memoir from the Native American poet and author of She Had Some Horses describes her youth with an abusive stepfather, becoming a single teen mom and how she struggled to finally find inner peace and her creative voice. 20,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A memoir from the Native American poet describes her youth with an abusive stepfather, becoming a single teen mom, and how she struggled to finally find inner peace and her creative voice.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A spiritual coming-of-age memoir from a poet praised for her "breathtaking complex witness and world-remaking language" (Adrienne Rich).

Review by Publisher Summary 4

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.