Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot
A Memoir

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Slim, elegiac, and delivered with an economy of meticulous prose, the book calibrates the author’s history as an abused child and an adult constantly at war with the demons of mental illness.
-Kirkus

Synopsis


A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Selected by Emma Watson as the Our Shared Shelf Book Club Pick for March/April 2018


A New York Times Editor's Choice

A Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection



"A sledgehammer. . . . Her experiments with structure and language . . . are in the service of trying to find new ways to think about the past, trauma, repetition and reconciliation, which might be a way of saying a new model for the memoir." —Parul Sehgal, The New York Times



"Heart Berries by Terese Mailhot is an astounding memoir in essays. Here is a wound. Here is need, naked and unapologetic. Here is a mountain woman, towering in words great and small... What Mailhot has accomplished in this exquisite book is brilliance both raw and refined." —Roxane Gay, author of Hunger




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.



"I am quietly reveling in the profundity of Mailhot’s deliberate transgression in Heart Berries and its perfect results. I love her suspicion of words. I have always been terrified and in awe of the power of words – but Mailhot does not let them silence her in Heart Berries. She finds the purest way to say what she needs to say... [T]he writing is so good it’s hard not to temporarily be distracted from the content or narrative by its brilliance...Perhaps, because this author so generously allows us to be her witness, we are somehow able to see ourselves more clearly and become better witnesses to ourselves." —Emma Watson, Official March/April selection for Our Shared Shelf



Named One of the Most Anticipated Books of 2018 by:

Goodreads

Esquire

Entertainment Weekly

ELLE

Cosmopolitan

Huffington Post

B*tch

NYLON

Buzzfeed

Bustle

The Rumpus

The New York Public Library
 

About Terese Marie Mailhot

See more books from this Author
 
Published February 13, 2018 by Counterpoint. 160 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Heart Berries
All: 3 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Good
on Nov 12 2017

Slim, elegiac, and delivered with an economy of meticulous prose, the book calibrates the author’s history as an abused child and an adult constantly at war with the demons of mental illness.

Read Full Review of Heart Berries: A Memoir | See more reviews from Kirkus

Star Tribune

Below average
Reviewed by PAMELA MILLER on Jun 22 2018

Although many critics have described this book with stuttering superlatives, readers will differ on whether it’s poetic or incoherent, brilliant self-examination or wordy narcissism.

Read Full Review of Heart Berries: A Memoir | See more reviews from Star Tribune

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Parul Sehgal on Jan 30 2018

So much of what Mailhot is moving toward here still feels nascent — the book wants a tighter weave, more focus. But give me narrative power and ambition over tidiness any day.

Read Full Review of Heart Berries: A Memoir | See more reviews from NY Times

Reader Rating for Heart Berries
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