Muscogee Daughter


Muscogee Daughter

My Sojourn to the Miss America Pageant

Susan Supernaw
Foreword by Geary Hobson

American Indian Lives Series

264 pages
25 illustrations, 1 genealogy, index


October 2010


$29.95 Add to Cart

May 2020


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eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

May 2020


$19.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

October 2010


$19.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

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.

Author Bio

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.


“What remains most striking is the unexpected gift of the heavy understory of Susan Supernaw’s spiritual tests. Throughout the telling, she remains straightforward and mesmerizing.”—Joy Harjo, U.S. poet laureate and Mvskoke Creek writer

“A unique story, but also an iconic American story, it is inspiring and heartbreaking, and ultimately redemptive. Susan Supernaw is living testimony to the triumph of the human spirit as well as the strength of Native American culture.”—Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of Red Dirt: Growing Up Okie

"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

“This is a riveting story about resilience and strength. Susan Supernaw opens the door into the beauty of the Native American spirit as a young girl who triumphs in spite of tough circumstances. It’s also the best of the Miss America story—not about who wins a crown but about who is helped to become all she is called to be.”—Jane Jayroe, author of More Grace than Glamour: My Life as Miss America and Beyond

“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 surprise and a delight to read."—Betty Lytle,

"While recounting her journey to compete for the Miss America crown, Susan remains focused on what is most important and never forgets the many people who helped her along the way. This is a charming story of perseverance and spiritual growth."—Sandy Amazeen,

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Family Genealogy
1. Blessings Inside a Tipi
2. Jimmy
3. Bozo
4. Horse Crazy
5. A New Name
6. Metamorphosis
7. Sewer Rats
8. Beef Noodle
9. Susie Q
10. Super Sue
11. Tomorrow's Leader
12. Coming Home
13. Scorpio Sue
14. Superstar Supernaw
15. The Barefoot Queen
16. The Indian Queen
17. Dancing Feet
18. Ellia Ponna

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