Crooked Hallelujah
by Ford, Kelli Jo







PART I
Book of the Generations
3(38)
PART II
The Care and Feeding of Goldfish
41(11)
Annie Mae
52(5)
The Year 2003 Minus 20
57(17)
Terra Firma
74(17)
Greater the Mass, Stronger the Pull
91(26)
Hybrid Vigor
117(27)
Then Sings My Soul
144(25)
You'll Be Honest, You'll Be Brave
169(18)
You Will Miss Me When I Burn
187(18)
Bonita
205(21)
Consider the Lilies
226(29)
PART III
What Good Is an Ark to a Fish?
255(30)
Acknowledgments285


A first collection by an award-winning Cherokee writer traces four generations of Native American women as they navigate cultural dynamics, religious beliefs, the 1980s oil bust, devastating storms and unreliable men to connect with their ideas about home.





Kelli Jo Ford is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. She is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including the Paris Review's Plimpton Prize, the Everett Southwest Literary Award, the Katherine Bakeless Nason Award at Bread Loaf, a National Artist Fellowship by the Native Arts & Cultures Foundation, and a Dobie Paisano Fellowship. Her fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Missouri Review, and the anthology Forty Stories: New Writing from Harper Perennial, among other places.





*Starred Review* Ford, a Plimpton Prize-winning author and member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, tells a blistering Own Voices tale that spans generations. The novel reads like a set of interlinked short stories, yet there is a narrative thread that runs through each of them, connecting the reader to the heart of a family of Cherokee women. At its start, in 1974, 15-year-old Justine is coping with the pressures of her mother Lula's strict Christian church. She wants to reconnect with her father and to live like her friends do. But when Justine becomes pregnant through an act of assault, daughter Reney enters the picture, and the reader follows their journey as Reney grows. The sections cover different decades and are told from different perspectives, leading up to an electrifying conclusion. Ford's lyrical writing emphasizes both the hardships and the deeply connected relationships of the characters. The theme of the weather as villain illustrates the unopposable forces Cherokee women must contend with, including the tyranny of society and of men. A riveting and important read. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.






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