Heart Berries

Heart Berries

A Memoir

Book - 2018
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"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."-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Berkeley, California : Counterpoint, [2018]
ISBN: 9781619023345
Call Number: 362.1968 MAILHOT
Characteristics: xvi, 142 pages ; 21 cm
Subjects: Mailhot, Terese Marie -- Health.
Post-traumatic stress disorder -- Patients -- Northwest, Pacific -- Biography.
Manic-depressive persons -- Northwest, Pacific -- Biography.
Indian women -- Northwest, Pacific -- Biography.
Post-traumatic stress disorder -- Patients -- Northwest, Pacific -- Biography.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

KatieD_KCMO Sep 21, 2018

Like some other readers have mentioned, it feels wrong to "rate" this book. At certain points in this book, I felt voyeuristic, uncomfortable, depressed. I felt a fraction of what she must have been feeling. In that sense, it was successful. Maybe I didn't identify with certain aspects, her writing style didn't always appeal to me personally, but this book wasn't written for me. This book is her story and I'm grateful that she's shared it with us. We need to hear it.

ArapahoeLesley Aug 01, 2018

I know Mailhot doesn't want 'raw' to be used to describe this book but I can't think of another word. The naked and deliberate emotion that she conveys through her poetic and grief filled prose is not fun to read, but it does leave an impression that will stay with you.

Jul 27, 2018

This memoir has a lot of ugly stuff in it, but the author was never ugly. The work is courageous.

Jun 13, 2018

An honest read. I couldn't put it down.

May 18, 2018

Not giving this a number rating because I think I either just didn't "get it", or, maybe I wasn't the right audience for this book. Mailhot's story is so important in a culture which often silences or ignores Indigenous voices and she certainly can craft a sentence - a few hit me like a punch to the gut. But still, I couldn't connect, couldn't follow along, so the style just didn't work for me. But I would say if you are at all curious, it is worth giving it a try.

May 09, 2018

This book cracked me open - it's such a bravely, beautifully, precisely written story of working through trauma and being a child and a mother and Native woman.

May 03, 2018

Difficult subject matter, but beautifully written. Paragraphs are poetry. A book to immerse yourself in and let it flow over you, like Seabird Island in the river. Her elegy to her mother is particularly beautiful and blatant at the same time. I enjoyed the use of recurring themes as well.

Cynthia_N Apr 13, 2018

Powerful book! A little too raw at times.

Mar 25, 2018

Highly distinctive and personal prose. Valuable contribution to the genre.

debwalker Mar 24, 2018

Going huge in the US. A breakthrough for indigenous literature.

View All Comments


Add a Quote

Jul 27, 2018

"My mother's looming spirit guides me some days, telling me that nothing is too ugly for this world. I am not too ugly for this world."


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at GCPL

To Top