Heart berries : a memoir / Terese Marie Mailhot ; with an introduction by Sherman Alexie and an afterword by Joan Naviyuk Kane.

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    • Abstract:
      Summary: "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.
    • Content Notes:
      Indian condition -- Heart berries -- Indian sick -- In a pecan field -- Your black eye and my birth -- I know I'll go -- Little Mountain Woman -- The leaving deficit -- Thunder Being Honey Bear -- Indian condition -- Better parts.
    • ISBN:
      9781619023345
      1619023342
    • LCCN:
      2017051069
    • OCLC:
      ocn994578253
      994578253
    • Accession Number:
      fay.562638

Reviews

Booklist Reviews 2017 December #1

Mailhot's first book defies containment and categorization. In titled essays, it is a poetic memoir told in otherworldly sentences and richly experiential memories that occupy a nearly physical space. A friend and former student of Sherman Alexie, who contributes this book's introduction, Mailhot approaches the complications of writing while Native: "As an Indian woman, I resist the urge to bleed out on the page, to impart the story of my drunken father." What expectations must she fulfill, or subvert? Mailhot writes stories of her parents and children; of her youthful marriage, subsequent divorce, and her son who was taken from her. Many pieces address her lover, a break with whom catalyzes her hospitalization, where journaling and remembering become medicine. She tells the story of the first medicine man, in actuality a child called Heart Berry Boy, who, in seeking relief from grief over his mother's death, devoted his life to healing others. Not shy, nor raw, nor typical in any way, this is a powerfully crafted and vulnerable account of living and writing about it. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.