A “raw and honest” (Los Angeles Review of Books) memoir from the first Native American Poet Laureate of the United States.
In this transcendent memoir, grounded in tribal myth and ancestry, music and poetry, Joy Harjo 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. Narrating the complexities of betrayal and love, Crazy Brave is a haunting, visionary memoir about family and the breaking apart necessary in finding a voice.
“Blunt, moving…[Affirms and acclaims] the artistic impulse.”
Praise for Crazy Brave
“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
“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.”
“Stirring…In her harrowing and ultimately hopeful story, Harjo allows the reader to know her intimately, and we are enriched by her honesty.”
“Gritty and mystical…Reads like a sacred prayer.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
“Harjo allows the reader to know her intimately, and we are enriched by her honesty.”
“Exquisite…A must-read for anyone who appreciates the healing power of literature.”
“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.”
“A must-read for her fans and a fascinating door into her world for those new to her work.”
—Elizabeth Wilkinson, Minneapolis Star Tribune
“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.”