Heart Berries

Heart Berries

A Memoir

eBook - 2018
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"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."--
Publisher: [Toronto] : Doubleday Canada, 2018.
ISBN: 9780385691154
Branch Call Number: E-BOOK
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xviii, 154 pages)
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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From Library Staff

Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot - a memoir in a poetic style, dealing with identity, trauma, and healing.

"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."


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u
uncommonreader
Apr 19, 2019

A memoir of a woman writing her way out of trauma and mental illness. While much of her background was "typical" of aboriginal peoples, overall the book did not seem indigenous to me because of the narcissism of the author.

l
Litza60
Feb 22, 2019

This book read like a manic state. I know the author suffers from mental illness, and I certainly understand this may account for the way it was written...but I found it both hard to read AND compelling to continue. This doesn't make sense even as I write these few sentences, I realize that. I wanted to like the book, but I found it hard to fall into. Just my opinion.

l
Linyarai
Jan 27, 2019

This was a very intense and honest portrayal of grief, loss, and mental illness.

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.

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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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