Crooked Hallelujah

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Product Details
$26.00  $24.18
Grove Press
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.3 X 1.2 inches | 0.85 pounds

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About the Author
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.
Praise for Crooked Hallelujah

New York Times Editors' Choice

Top 10 New Books by the New York Times

An Indies Introduce

An Indie Next Pick & A Library Reads Pick

Named One of TIME Magazine's Must-Read Books of 2020

Longlisted for the 2021 Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction

Longlisted for The Center for Fiction's 2020 First Novel Prize

Named a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2020 for fiction

"In her more than promising first novel, Crooked Hallelujah, Kelli Jo Ford summons the details of minimum-wage life in the last quarter of the 20th century....This is a novel in stories, a dread form in the wrong hands...But Crooked Hallelujah has a supple cohesiveness....[Ford's] book reads like a series of acoustic songs recorded on a single microphone in a bare room with a carpet. There are times when you might wish for more boldness, but she never puts a wrong foot. This is a writer who carefully husbands her resources. Small scenes begin to glitter." --Dwight Garner, New York Times

"Kelli Jo Ford takes her readers on a compelling journey through the evolving terrain of multiple generations of women... This language is rich but never dense. There's a lightness to the perspective which shifts and bends, prismed by a matrilineal succession of Cherokee and mixed-race women... Ford's connection to her characters shines through the writing, infusing these voices with a sweet, sidelong zing. --Washington Post

"[S]tunning and lovable... Ford has drawn characters who are earthy, honest and believable in how they resolve or reconcile to difficulties -- money, jobs, relationships with men. There are so many passages in this book that are moving..." --Minneapolis Star Tribune

"[F]ull of poetry... Ford's prose is so absorbing that you're right there... [Her] pages ache with tenderness and love and no small amount of frustration... These stories stand up beautifully to rereading; they made me excited for what the writer will do next." --San Francisco Chronicle

Ford, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, offers a novel in short stories, allowing her to move with ease through perspectives, history and time. Each heartbreaking chapter slowly adds to the reader's understanding of these women and their increasingly difficult lives. --TIME

Kelli Jo Ford has penned an extraordinary debut set in 1974 in the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma that is focused on mothers and daughters, the strength and sacrifices of women and the journey that growth requires. --Ms. Magazine

Electrifying... A riveting and important read. --Booklist(starred review)

[A] magnificent debut...Ford adroitly, affectingly weaves indigenous history into her spellbinding narrative, exposing displacement, unacknowledged violence, cultural erasure, relentless racism and socioeconomic disparity. --Shelf Awareness

Ford's storytelling is urgent, her characters achingly human and complex, and her language glittering and rugged. This is a stunner. --Publishers Weekly (starred review)

A book that you want to share with everyone you know and one that you are desperate to keep in your own possession. A masterful debut and a new and thrilling voice for readers across the globe. --Sarah Jessica Parker, on Instagram

"Strife between saints and sinners simmers in this richly drawn, atmospheric debut by a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. Justine, a mixed-blood teenager, rejects her evangelical upbringing for more earthly pleasures, risking biblical plagues to embark on a decades-long odyssey that will carry her and her daughter to the Texas oil fields. Ford unravels the stirring ties that bind Native American women across cultural and generational chasms."--O, Oprah Magazine

"Engrossing and well-paced, this is a compelling story about women, mothers and daughters, the land, and family." --13 of the Most Anticipated Books by Indigenous Authors For the Second Half of 2020, Lit Hub

Ford's Crooked Hallelujah is more than just a really great title; it's the book that's going to be taught in creative writing programs for decades to come... What else can you say about a writer who won the prestigious Plimpton Prize and was published in the Paris Review right out of the gate? Nothing beyond Take my money.--Buzzfeed

Kelli Jo Ford's Crooked Hallelujah masterfully evokes loss and displacement, steeped in Native American culture, rife with compassion and deep understanding. Kelli Jo Ford is a powerful new Native American writer who writes beautifully with stunning prose! She is brilliant, and I can't wait for people to read her amazing book. --Brandon Hobson, 2018 National Book Award Finalist and author of Where the Dead Sit Talking

Crooked Hallelujah is an intricate, soulful look at three generations of Cherokee women pushed (in Philip Larkin's phrase) to the side of their own lives. At turns gripping and moving, Kelli Jo Ford's characters and the Oklahoma and Texas landscape take center stage in a truly modern drama. Ford sidesteps the easy tropes of spirituality and connection to nature and has created a modern masterpiece peopled with complex, fully-realized characters. A huge achievement. --David Treuer

"Startling close-ups of the sticky relationship between mothers and daughters, between body and nature, between childhood certainties and adult skepticism. Kelli Jo Ford's writing is heartfelt and brimming with talent. This is a stunning, awe-inspiring debut."--Leila Aboulela

Praise for Kelli Jo Ford:

"Kelli Jo Ford's writing is a high priority and will only gain in the world's esteem...[her work] contains beauty and expected new intelligence."--Richard Ford on Kelli Jo Ford's "Hybrid Vigor," winner of the 2019 Plimpton Prize