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."--
Publisher: Berkeley, California :, Counterpoint,, [2018]
ISBN: 9781619023345
1619023342
Branch Call Number: 362.1968521 M219M
Characteristics: xvi, 142 pages ; 21 cm

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ArapahoeLesley Aug 01, 2018

I know Mailhot doesn't want 'raw' to be used to describe this book but my literal and straightforward mind 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.

c
cloudi72
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.

h
hikatie
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.

j
jeanie123
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.

m
mclarjh
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.

KCLSEmilyC Jan 04, 2018

"Salish stories are a lot like its art: sparse and interested in blank space. The work must be striking."

This is an incredible, searing memoir - there's not a word wasted in Mailhot's frank and unflinching portrayal of her childhood, her relationships, and her struggles with bipolar disorder. It's less a chronicle of "what happened" and more a glimpse into the author's tumultuous interior life, captured in vivid, ferocious prose. Sparse and striking indeed.

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cloudi72
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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