A Journalist Rediscovers Herself With The Help Of A Native American Community And A Quadriplegic Man Who Can Gentle The Horses Even The Toughest Cowboys Can’t Break
BROKEN ~ A Love Story
Horses, Humans, and Redemption on the Wind River Indian Reservation
By Lisa Jones
Broken’s Book Reviews…
“At the book’s core are the themes of healing, redefining family and home, and ‘finding your center.’ In the end, Jones reveals the beauty, ruin-and spirituality-of life on the ‘rez.’”
“…[H]er unique experience with this unusual man makes for compelling reading.”
“Jones has written the most important and beautiful book to come out of the West in a decade. Moving, powerful, humbling, beautifully rendered.”
—Alexandra Fuller, author of Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight
“Intrepid only begins to describe Lisa Jones, who goes to admirable and adventurous lengths to take the measure of a singular American spirit. Her engagements with (and devotion to) Stanford Addison also lead to her candid measure of herself – a risk that pays off for those willing to jump into Jones’ old Toyota as she looks for wisdom in a neglected corner of the West.”
—Ted Conover, author of Whiteout, Rolling Nowhere and Newjack
In 2002, journalist Lisa Jones traveled to a dusty corral on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming to meet Stanford Addison for a magazine assignment. A Northern Arapaho with a special gift for gentling horses rather than breaking them by force, Stanford also had the ability – driven by his deep spirituality – to cure people of everything from cancer to bipolar disorder. Even more remarkable, he did all of this from an electric wheelchair; he was quadriplegic. Lisa expected to stay with him for just four days but instead came home four years later with a brand new life. BROKEN: A Love Story by Lisa Jones (Scribner; May 12, 2009; Hardcover; $25.00) is Lisa’s beautiful and utterly moving written memoir about her time spent with Stanford and the soul-shifting spiritual journey she took while on the reservation.
This youTube features Lisa reading the book’s preface over slideshow of photos taken of Stanford, his family, horses and home. The photos were taken by Teresa Neptune and Sarah Kariko.
Lisa was forty-two and at a crossroad in her life when she traveled to Wyoming. She was dating a man she deeply loved, and with whom she shared “a compatibility so rare it would be a sin against God not to arrange our lives around it.” But he too who was at a crossroads, wanting to passionately pursue his spirituality, considering a life as a Buddhist monk. She struggled with the desire to get married and have children. Driving from her home in Colorado to meet Stanford on the reservation she had no idea she was about to experience a life transformation.
Stanford spent his teenage years busting broncos, seducing girls and dealing drugs. When he was 20, he left his house one night to party with his friends. Barreling down the road in a truck, they hit a pack of horses that were wandering loose. Their truck rolled violently three times and while Stanford’s friends emerged from the accident unharmed, he was pinned underneath the cab. When the police arrived and attempted to jack the truck up to try to rescue him, the jack slipped and cut Stanford’s spinal cord at the neck—he would never walk again. By morning, this brutal accident had robbed him of his physical abilities. Adding insult to injury, he soon started developing disconcerting, unwelcome spiritual powers.
After years of struggling with the loss of his former prowess and the arrival of his mysterious gifts, Stanford eventually surrendered to his new life, helping people overcome their own life struggles. When Lisa met Stanford on the reservation at a horse clinic where beginners gentle untamed horses, he had been paralyzed for more than two decades. Meeting Stanford’s calm eyes for the first time, she blushed to the roots of her hair: “It felt like he could see every little place in me that had gone hard and rigid and smiling.” She became a frequent visitor to Stanford’s place over the next four years, spending many nights at the modular home he shares with his large extended family, sipping coffee and watching the “paralyzed, six-toothed, one-lunged Plains Indian [taking] a drag of his KOOL Filter King” and jokingly saying, “‘I guess the thing I miss most since the accident is ski jumping.’” Lisa watched neighbors from the reservation and visitors from miles away travel up the dirt road to Stanford for guidance and healing for what was broken in their lives.
Meanwhile, the reservation, its people’s struggles with poverty and violence, and their deeply spiritual culture worked on Lisa, too. Over time, Stanford was able to expose and heal the places where she, too, was broken. BROKEN is an amazing journey of self-realization, the surrendering to something larger than we know, and a powerful testament to the belief that love makes a broken spirit whole again. Lisa tells us that Stan always says that “Life isn’t about happiness. Good times are followed by bad times; bad times are followed by good. Life isn’t about staying clear of pain. Life is about finding your center, even when things get so painful you want to run like hell in the opposite direction.” Through her friendship with Stanford, Lisa found her center, and a greater way to love.
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Above is a press release available for Immediate Release
Contact: Heidi Richter
heidi.richter @ simonanschuster . com (remove spaces)
About the Author Lisa Jones
Lisa Jones has written for The New York Times Magazine, High Country News, and National Public Radio. She lives in Colorado with her husband. BROKEN is her first book. Please visit Lisa Jones’ website: LisaJonesWrites.com were you can read four excerpts from the book, Broken. And check out her video on youtube: BROKEN – A Love Story read by Lisa Jones
Information about the book, including author interview videos, can be found here: http://books.simonandschuster.com/Broken/Lisa-Jones/9781416579069
Scribner is an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc., part of the CBS Corporation. Simon & Schuster is a global leader in the field of general interest publishing, dedicated to providing the best in fiction and nonfiction for consumers of all ages, across all printed, electronic and multi-media formats. Its divisions include the Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, Simon & Schuster Audio, Simon & Schuster Digital, and international companies in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit our website at www.simonandschuster.com.
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