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.
Joy Harjo is an internationally renowned performer and writer of the Muscogee Creek Nation and was named United States Poet Laureate in 2019. The author of eight books of poetry and a memoir, Crazy Brave, she lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Caroline Clarke was born in an era when adoptions were shameful, secret, and sealed. While she wondered about her biological parents, she kept her curiosity in check, until a series of small health problems raised concerns about her genetic heritage and its consequences for her two children's lives and her own.
Though Spence-Chapin Family Service, the agency that handled her adoption, could not reveal the name of her birth mother, it was able to provide details that lead to a shocking truth. Caroline's birth mother and her family were related to a friend. The woman who gave her life was none other than Carole "Cookie" Cole, the daughter of iconic crooner and pianist Nat King Cole.
Drawing on details provided by the agency and her own investigative skills, Caroline embarked on a life-changing journey of discovery that stretched from coast to coast, forged through e-mail, phone calls, and post cards. The constancy, volume, and intimacy of her steady correspondence with Cookie filled the days and distance between them. Through brief yet poignant messages squeezed onto three-inch open-faced squares, mother and daughter revealed themselves, sharing secrets, taking risks, and ultimately building a bond like no other.
A heartfelt, inspiring tribute to both Caroline's adoptive parents and her biological mother, Postcards from Cookie illuminates the enduring power of love to shape and guide our lives.