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Muscogee Daughter

My Sojourn to the Miss America Pageant

Susan Supernaw

Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Imprint: University of Nebraska Press
Published: 05/2020
Pages: 264
Subject: Biography and Autobiography
eBook ISBN: 9781496220363


How American is Miss America? For Susan Supernaw, a Muscogee (Creek) and Munsee Native American, the question wasn't just academic. Throughout a childhood clouded by poverty, alcoholism, abuse, and a physical disability, Supernaw sought escape in school and dance and the Native American Church. She became a presidential scholar, won a scholarship to college, and was crowned Miss Oklahoma in 1971. Supernaw might not have won the Miss America pageant that year, but she did call attention to the Native peoples living largely invisible lives throughout their own American land. And she did at long last earn her Native American name. Chronicling a quest to escape poverty and find meaning, Supernaw's story is revealing, humorous, and deeply moving. Muscogee Daughter is the story of finding a Native American identity among the distractions and difficulties of American life and of discerning an identity among competing notions of what it is to be a woman, a Native American, and a citizen of the world.  


Susan Supernaw is a computer software, education, and technology consultant. Her manuscript for this book won the First Book Award for Prose from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas. Geary Hobson is a professor of English at the University of Oklahoma and the author of, most recently, The Last of the Ofos.


"A compelling and inspirational. . . . It is the memoir of a woman who struggles to find her identity as an American Indian woman in the face of racism, emotional turmoil, and physical handicap. . . . The book is easy to read, and the story is fascinating."—Sunu Kodumthara, Chronicles of Oklahoma  

"Muscogee Daughter would be a strong choice for a book group, or for readers interested in contemporary Native American memoirs. Supernaw's life story is compelling—not only because of her one-of-a-kind experience, but also because of her ability to appeal to a universal readership."—Claire Rudy Foster, Foreword

"A worthy addition to the American Indian Lives series and an uplifting story of one Native woman's ability to rise above poverty and prejudice."—Deborah Donovan, Booklist