Heart Berries

Heart Berries

A Memoir

Book - 2018
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"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
1619023342
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.
Autobiographies.

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Memoir & Autobiography category - Nominee


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a
Activevoice
Nov 24, 2018

At the end of the book, after the interview of the author, Terese Mailhot, the interviewer askes the questions: So, where are we? Where we have always been. Where are you? I am more aware, I found personal truth on every page of this masterful work. I see my culture more clearly through the eyes of the author; she is a bright, clear mirror reflecting the pain that colonization has cause our indigenous peoples. This book should be mandatory reading in every Canadian classroom. It is art, it is truth, it is sadness, and it is a joy!

b
bette108
Nov 23, 2018

Raw is the only word that comes to mind after reading this. Raw and painful. Yet, the prose is almost poetic. I'm glad I read it just the same.

l
lukasevansherman
Nov 12, 2018

Read for Native American Heritage Month. See Powell's list: https://www.powells.com/native-american-heritage-month
Also recommended, "My Body is Book of Rules," "The Argonauts," and "There, There."

w
wayoflife
Oct 29, 2018

Outstanding writing, storytelling and memoir. This is one of my favorite reads in recent years, and certainly one of the great memoirs. Raw, unflinching and True. If you love narrative, storytelling, indigeousness, memoir or just great writing, I highly recommend this one.

If you've read any of Louise Erdrich's novels, you'll find many echoes here, as both writers tackle honestly the difficulties of native women in contemporary times.

Go read this.

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.

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.

d
dashing2
Jul 27, 2018

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

s
smccowell
Jun 13, 2018

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

l
lola_jane
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.

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dashing2
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."

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