Tina Cipolla's Reviews > Crazy Brave

Crazy Brave by Joy Harjo
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really liked it

Joy Harjo is a fixture among college English majors. Somehow I managed not to read her until now, and I'm sorry I waited. This memoir was touching, realistic and honest. She paints a vivid picture of her life growing up in the American West in the 60s, and no matter your cultural background this book resonates. I was rooting for her on the whole way; I found her both likable and courageous. Harjo takes a hard look at some very difficult, if almost universal, issues (poverty, child abuse, incest, domestic violence, alcoholism, teen pregnancy, etc.) and never once does this author feel sorry for herself for having to deal with these things--and you can't help but admire her for this.

Most notable for me in this book, Harjo accomplished quite a feat of describing her Creek religion without it sounding flaky (as some other Native American writers unfortunately do--I'm thinking of Leslie Marmon Silko for example.) She talked at length about "the knowing" and although it goes by other names in other traditions, you will recognize it and be able to relate to it, and you will cheer when she allows it to lead her down the right path and into a situation that permanently alters her life for the better. This is not to say she doesn't still face significant challenges, but she manages to persevere and succeed and in the end the book is an affirmation of a life well lived in the face of sometimes seemingly insurmountable odds.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
April 8, 2013 – Shelved

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message 1: by Mary (new) - added it

Mary Nice review, Tina. I love reading your opinions.


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