Enjoy millions of ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, and more, with a free trial

Only $11.99/month after trial. Cancel anytime.

Heart Berries: A Memoir
Heart Berries: A Memoir
Heart Berries: A Memoir
Audiobook3 hours

Heart Berries: A Memoir

Written by Terese Marie Mailhot

Narrated by Rainy Fields

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

3.5/5

()

About this audiobook

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 us 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.

Editor's Note

Poetic beauty…

A rare debut that will take your breath away with its poetic beauty. This memoir from Terese Marie Mailhot chronicles her time growing up on a Canadian First Nations reservation with a love of memory and language and an acute knowledge of their limitations.

LanguageEnglish
PublisherTantor Audio
Release dateFeb 6, 2018
ISBN9781977370013
Heart Berries: A Memoir
Author

Terese Marie Mailhot

Terese Marie Mailhot graduated from the Institute of American Indian Arts with an MFA in fiction. Heart Berries, her first book, was shortlisted for the 2018 Governor General's Literary Award for Nonfiction. She teaches creative writing at Purdue University and resides in West Lafayette, Indiana.

Reviews for Heart Berries

Rating: 3.425925925925926 out of 5 stars
3.5/5

324 ratings29 reviews

What did you think?

Tap to rate

Review must be at least 10 words

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    "Memoir, for me, functions as something vulnerable in a sea of posturing." (from the Afterword)Finding one's truth and taking ownership and authorship of one's story are life-changing! In recent memory I cannot think of a book, fiction or non-fiction, which illustrates this power as deeply or as profoundly as Mailhot's memoir. She bravely reveals her journey in all its horror and beauty. I've said it many times, but I have great respect for women who have the guts to open themselves up so fully to a public that has not exactly proven warm and receptive."As an Indian woman, I resist the urge to bleed out on a page, to impart the story of my drunken father. It was dangerous to be alone with him, as it was dangerous to forgive, as it was dangerous to say he was a monster. If he were a monster, that would make me part monster, part Indian. It is my politic to write the humanity in my characters, and subvert the stereotypes. Isn't that my duty as an Indian writer? But what part of him was subversion?"The language she uses is... I cannot find the perfect word at the moment."I know the limit of what I can contain in each day. Each child, woman, and man should know a limit of containment. Nobody should be asked to hold more."An essential read for Indigenous women, yet I would recommend this to everyone, especially those with trauma in their past -- or those who aren't the picture of pristine mental health. Not that a white woman could ever walk in the same shoes as an Indigenous woman, but because there are parallels between the experiences in coming of age, mental illness, broken hearts, deep-rooted parental scars, and what it takes to begin healing.5 stars(I love that her author photograph was credited to her son, Isaiah.)"Love is tactile learning, always, first and foremost.""I don't feel liberated from the governing presence of tragedy. The way in which people frame our work, and the way our work exists, or is canonized--we are not liberated from injustice; we're anchored to it. It feels inescapable and part of the zeitgeist of Indian in the twenty-first century, or every century since they came, which doesn't limit me, or us, but limits the way we are seen and spoken about. It's unfortunate, and real to me." (from the Afterword)
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    This is a very difficult book to read and even more difficult to critique. Terese explains that she was a young girl growing up in a severely dysfunctional family. Her home was located on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation in the Pacific Northwest. Her childhood experiences caused her profound pain, and she found herself as a young woman in a mental institution with bipolar disease and PTSD. Her quest to find herself leads her on a panful journey of remembrance. /She has now found herself a place in the world as a mother, wife, educator and author. The language in the book is absolutely beautiful, and even with the dreadful subject matter, quite poetic. But I found that there was a lot of jumping around in time, so I found it difficult to get to the heart of the matter. The book probably realistically portrays her bumpy ride as she tries to deal with all of her issues, and that maya explain the dichotomy, but it was still difficult for me to follow the timeline. It is very difficult to read about Terese's struggles to find herself and finally come to a place where she can acknowledge and accept all the horrors of her life, and then build from there to finally discover the real Terese buried under all the memories.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    A memoir of moving through madness and it's roots by a Native American woman. Not at all an easy read, and possibly containing some triggers, certainly I had to keep my own emotional history from raveling my attention from each sentence as it sliced into me during the first two sections. Then I had to wonder what sort of man left messages on his computer and phone to be found by the lover (he implied) he wanted to keep. Perhaps I was distracting myself from the real pain on the page. Not a feel good life with those close to nature yarn.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    Rating: 6* of fiveShattering. Beautiful. Agonizing. Necessary.I will never, ever read this book again. I'm glad I borrowed it from the library so it will not be in my home. This isn't a story I want to have exerting its metaphysical gravity on me while I'm sleeping.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    I’ve never read a memoir like this. The author grew up in an abusive and dysfunctional family on a Native American reservation. The story may be short, but don’t count on finishing it quickly. There’s lots to think about and reread. The essays can be disturbing but bring insight into how women are treated and how they can work to heal themselves.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    The emotionally charged memoir of a young Native American woman growing up on a dysfunctional family and later with abusive relationships with men (one that she just can;t seem to get over). This book is very well written and she doesn't rail against the abusive people in her life. Through it all a couple of mentors help her overcome these traumas leading ultimately her back to her Native American heritage and a Doctoral Fellowship in creative writing at Purdue University. This book will pull on your heart without being sappy or maudlin. Short book with a whole lot of meaning.