Heart Berries: A Memoir (Paperback)

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(Native American)

Staff Reviews


I loved this beautiful, cutting memoir-in-essays by Terese Marie Mailhot, who grew up on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation in British Columbia. It's the story of a girl--loved, abused, and abandoned. It's the story of a woman driven to madness by what she doesn't want to remember and redeemed by what she's unwilling to forget. Heart Berries is a Native story, and it's an Everywoman story. Mailhot won't look away from the origins of her pain and with her spare, stark prose, she won't let us, either.

— Eileen

February 2018 Indie Next List


“In a time of memoirs that help a reader understand vulnerability and the experience of facing down fear, Terese Marie Mailhot's cathartic, moving Heart Berries is one of the bravest and most fearless of such books. Her coming-of-age on a First Nation reservation, Seabird Island in Canada, is particular to that vividly evoked place, but also carries larger, universal lessons for the human spirit and its survival. A necessary book.”
— Rick Simonson, The Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA

Description


A New York Times Bestseller, Now in Paperback.
An official selection by actress and activist Emma Watson's Book Club, Our Shared Shelf
"A sledgehammer . . . a new model for the memoir." --Parul Sehgal, The New York Times

Heart Berries is a powerful, poetic memoir of a woman's coming of age on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation in the Pacific Northwest. Having survived a profoundly dysfunctional upbringing only to find herself hospitalized and facing a dual diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder and bipolar II disorder; Terese Marie Mailhot is given a notebook and begins to write her way out of trauma. The triumphant result is Heart Berries, a memorial for Mailhot's mother, a social worker and activist who had a thing for prisoners; a story of reconciliation with her father--an abusive drunk and a brilliant artist--who was murdered under mysterious circumstances; and an elegy on how difficult it is to love someone while dragging the long shadows of shame.

Mailhot trusts the reader to understand that memory isn't exact, but melded to imagination, pain, and what we can bring ourselves to accept. Her unique and at times unsettling voice graphically illustrates her mental state. As she writes, she discovers her own true voice, seizes control of her story, and, in so doing, reestablishes her connection to her family, to her people, and to her place in the world.

About the Author


TERESE MARIE MAILHOT graduated from the Institute of American Indian Arts with an M.F.A. in fiction, and received a Whiting Award for Nonfiction in 2019.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781640091603
ISBN-10: 1640091602
Publisher: Counterpoint LLC
Publication Date: April 9th, 2019
Pages: 160
Language: English