Heart Berries: A Memoir

Category: Book
By (author): Mailhot, Terese Marie
Subject:  BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Native Americans
  BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs
  BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Women
  NON-FICTION / Canadian
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Published: March 2018
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 160
Size: 7.50in x 5.00in
Our Price:
$ 25.00
Availability:
In stock

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*Guileless and refreshingly honest, Terese Mailhot's debut memoir chronicles her struggle to balance the beauty of her Native heritage with the often desperate and chaotic reality of life on the reservation.

Heart Berries is a powerful, poetic memoir of a woman's coming of age on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation in British Columbia. Having survived a profoundly dysfunctional upbringing only to find herself hospitalized and facing a dual diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Bipolar II, Terese 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.
Review Quote*"Heart Berries by Terese Mailhot is an astounding memoir in essays. Here, is a wound. Here is need, naked and unapologetic. Here is a mountain woman, towering in words great and small. She writes of motherhood, loss, absence, want, suffering, love, mental illness, betrayal and survival. She does this without blinking but to say she is fearless would be to miss the point.  These essays are too intimate, too absorbing, too beautifully written, but never ever too much. What Mailhot has accomplished in this exquisite book is brilliance both raw and refined, testament." -Roxane Gay 

"Unearthing medicine and receiving power requires you to give your life and, in her debut memoir, Mailhot fearlessly delivers. By turns tender, sad, angry and funny, Heart Berries is a thought-provoking, powerful exploration of what it means to be a contemporary Indigenous woman and mother." -Eden Robinson, author of the Scotiabank Giller Prizeshortlisted novel Son of a Trickster

"This book is ache and balm. It is electric honesty and rigorous craft. It concerns a woman who veers into difficult and haunted corners. She meets ghosts and hospitals. She ends up in a mutinous wing of memoir; disobeying all colonial postures, 'neat narratives,' formulas and governments. The resulting story is brave and bewitching. I am so grateful to Terese Marie Mailhot, a fiery new voice, whose words devoured my heart." -Kyo Maclear, bestselling author of Birds Art Life

"An epic take―an Iliad for the indigenous. It is the story of one First Nation woman and her geographic, emotional, and theological search for meaning in a colonial world . . . Terese is a world-changing talent, and I recommend this book with 100% of my soul." ―Sherman Alexie, author of You Don't Have to Say You Love Me 

"Inside Terese Mailhot's phenomenal memoir Heart Berries the truth wrestles a knot between hustle and heart. How does a woman raised on a reservation in Canada forge a lifestory in the face of a culture hell bent on keeping her quiet and calm? By and through her body, is how, and this woman's body rages, desires, screams and whispers its way into the reader's body, as if to remind us that the rest of the story will not be silenced. Terese radically reinvents language in order to surface what has been murdered by American culture: the body of a woman, the voice of a warrior, the stories of ancestral spirit jutting up and through the present tense. I am mesmerized by her lyricism because it is shot through with funny angry beautiful brutal truths. This is a writer for our times who simultaneously blows up time. Thank oceans." ―Lidia Yuknavitch, author of The Book of Joan, The Small Backs of Children, Dora: A Headcase, and The Chronology of Water 

"Heart Berries is phenomenal. I finished the book and went right back to the beginning to read through once again; my understanding deepened, as did the mystery. Mailhot's voice is so clear, so disruptive, so assured, and always so mesmerizingly poetic--it somehow startles and lulls all at once. I was KNOCKED DOWN." -Justin Torres, author of We the Animals

"In this debut memoir, Terese Marie Mailhot sends across generations a love letter to women considered difficult. She sends a manifesto toward remembering―culture and heartbreak and laughter. She writes to the men who love these women. She writes prose tight as a perfect sheet, tucked . . . To read this book is to engage with one of our very best minds at work." ―Toni Jensen, author of From the Hilltop

"Heart Berries makes me think of a quote I have always loved: 'Beauty is truth, truth beauty'(Keats). With a keen eye for intense truth and thoroughly-crafted beauty, Mailhot's debut sings like poetry, and stays with you long after you've finished the last page." ―Katherena Vermette
Biographical NoteTERESE MAILHOT graduated from the Institute of American Indian Arts with an MFA in fiction and is the Saturday Editor at The Rumpus and a columnist for Indian Country Today (where her work has been recognized by the Native American Journalists Association). Her work has appeared in The Rumpus, Carve Magazine, The Offing, The Toast, Yellow Medicine Review and elsewhere. The recipient of several fellowships--SWAIA Discovery Fellowship, Vermont Studio Center Fellowship, Writing by Writers Fellowship, and the Elk Writer's Workshop Fellowship--she was recently named the Tecumseh Post Doctoral Fellow at Purdue University.