Heart Berries (Mailhot)

Heart Berries: A Memoir
Terese Marie Mailhot, 2018
Counterpoint Press
160 pp.
ISBN-13:
9781619023345


Summary
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.

With an Introduction by Sherman Alexie and an Afterword by Joan Naviyuk Kane. (From the publisher.)

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