Crazy Brave

Book Cover: Crazy Brave

In this transcendent memoir, grounded in tribal myth and ancestry, music and poetry, Joy Harjo, one of the leading Native American voices, details her journey to becoming a poet.

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Feminist Magazine

IAIA American Book Award
Joy Harjo has been honored for her most recent book, Crazy Brave, A Memoir (W.W. Norton & Company). This was her second American Book Award. Read More

Yes Magazine
Having to Fight for It: An interview with Poet/Musician Joy Harjo. Link to Review

Initiations: A review of Crazy Brave by Pam Uschuk
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Book Browse
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38 Bookshelf
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Alabama's Writer's Forum
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PEN America Interview with Joy Harjo by Jane Ciabattari
“I was entrusted with carrying voices, songs, and stories to grow and release into the world, to be of assistance and inspiration," she writes in her recent memoir, Crazy Brave. "These were my responsibility." Read More

Native People's Review of Crazy Brave
One of Native America's strongest voices, poet and musician Joy Harjo has finally told her own story in this poetic memoir. Like her rich poetry, this book brims with lyrical word pictures, glimpses of Harjo's childhood and time in Indian boarding school; her marriages, lovers and children; her struggles with alcohol and her Native identity; and coming to grips with the panic attacks that plagued much of her adult years. In between the swirls of the whirlwind, Harjo gifts the reader with a sense of her inspiration, her terrors, and the events great and small that shaped her talent.
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Shelf Awareness
Part autobiography, part prose poem and part mythology, this memoir begs to be read aloud. Harjo traces the origin of her poetic musical and theatrical careers, but she offers much more than reminiscences. Her story is an account of the forging of a woman's soul, the hammer blows striking only to reshape her into a sharp and powerful blade of words and music. Slim of spine but lush with Harjo's trademark singing imagery, this raw and radiant coming-of-age story invites readers to "breathe the light in" and discover their own hidden capabilities. —Jaclyn Fulwood, blogger, Infinite Reads
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All Things Literary, All Things Natural
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Los Angeles Review of Books
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LaTO - Hungarian Publication Review
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Literary Mama
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  1. I really enjoyed reading your memoir Crazy Brave. I purchased the book at Antigone Books on 4th Ave in Tucson, AZ. I feel blessed to have come upon your book to read, and I thank you for sharing your life in print.

  2. Dear Joy, I know it’s been a while since you wrote Crazy Brave, but it is still fresh and moving and powerful for the rest of us. I am wondering, in your final sit down to write it (after your Editor told you time was up), what sources did you call on to stayed tied to the story and the truth that you tell? As I read it I found: music, dreams, oral/written/myth/imagined stories, memory, a few photos, conversation with ancestors and spiritual practices (honoring the 4 ways, etc.), Did you have your old drawings or paintings to look at from art school? Did you talk to your living relatives or friends and teachers from the time? Were there recordings from your dance or theater for you to look at? Or because it was a “surrendering” did you leave all of that aside? Thank you for whatever thoughts or memories of you have in writing this. I am an MFA student at the University of San Francisco, in deep study of your work at the moment, full of awe!

  3. Joy! The name fits you well! I was just introduced to you by PBS! I heard part of your interview, heard you read “She Had Some Horses” and heard the portion of “Red Dreams – A Trail Beyond Tears” which they played! Such beautiful, moving music! And I am very interested in reading more of your poetry! You have brought joy to me!

    I am a 75 year old and young grandmother who has read poetry or been read to for at least 73 of those years! I find poetry in working with genealogy and DNA; in finding my, and other people’s, specific ancestors and the amazing roots and connections of all people on the earth. I love the earth and its creatures; love making things grow and watching the doe eat my sunflowers. Thank you for adding another layer of beauty to my life!

  4. Stunning and life changing for all those who have experienced this life. I’m breathless and full of joy and happiness. Told beautifully.

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