Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot

Heart Berries

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...

Details Heart Berries

TitleHeart Berries
Release DateFeb 6th, 2018
PublisherCounterpoint Press
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Feminism, Biography, Biography Memoir

Reviews Heart Berries

  • Roxane
    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. She writes of motherhood, loss, absence, want, suffering, love, mental illness, betrayal, and survival. She does this without blinking but to say she is fearless would be to miss the point. These essays are too intimate, too absorbing, too beautifully written, but n...
  • Emily May
    You should have thought before you made a crazy Indian woman your lover. It took me a while to settle into the rhythm of Mailhot's writing in Heart Berries. It’s very poetic, dreamy and beautiful, though often fragmented and edging towards stream-of-consciousness in parts. It requires some patience and close attention - for, though short, this is not the easiest of reads - but it really does pay off.Heart Berries is a Native American woman's me...
  • Hannah
    I don’t think I have the words. I have been trying and failing to write a proper review for days. This book has rendered me speechless, so this will be a super short review.Terese Mailhot packs an unbelievable punch into a book this short. I could not stop reading it: her language is hypnotic, her turn of phrase impressive, her emotional rawness painful. This book does not follow conventions, Terese Mailhot tells her story the way she wants to ...
  • Debbie
    I did a total 180! I loved this memoir, then I didn’t.Mailhot is an indigenous woman with a traumatic past, and her heart-wrenching, raw story starts out as cool poetry. I felt like she was sharing her soul. Her jazz was getting me all jazzed. The voice in my head was screaming: She’s brilliant! Such intense language! Will you just look at the way she can so beauteously describe her off-kilter reality?! Wow, such a unique viewpoint! I’ve ne...
  • Diane S ☔
    3.5 A slim book, but a powerful one. A dysfunctional upbringing on a reservation, and indeed Sherman Alexie provides a glowing recommendation. Easily understood as Alexies own upbringing had some similarities with the author. Mental illness, disrupted and failed relationship, she had much to overcome. Free flowing thoughts, often disjointed, yet her pain is often overwhelming. I wish I could have rated this higher, but it is no reflection on the ...
  • Janet
    Terese Marie Mailhot’s poetic, shapeshifting memoir Heart Berries, a series of tiny impressionistic essays of self-exploration into the very roots of trauma and madness, is as impossible to describe as it is to shake off. Mailhot is a woman at odds with herself and the world, and her book is in a soul-searching dialogue moving towards self-acceptance by means of the creation of a new definition of self. Reading her book is a dangerous activity,...
  • Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
    A book written by the indigenous, for the indigenous, Heart Berries is a raw, heart-breaking and sobering memoir of what it means to grow up as a poor, abused, robbed of her own culture native American woman who suffers from depression. This is like no other memoir of the Native American (or First Nations) Experience, for the simple reason that it won't cater to your white-folks needs of painting indigenous culture with frills and sparkles, N...
  • Thomas
    An emotion-driven memoir about a Native American woman's struggles with abuse, mental illness, and survival. Terese Marie Mailhot makes many astute observations in Heart Berries, including how white people use self-esteem as "identity capitalism" and how Indian women are often viewed as inhuman. She incorporates several important, challenging topics into her personalized narrative, ranging from trauma to cultural differences to the fluidity of me...
  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    This memoir is unnerving from the very beginning. Rather than going back in time or providing some background, it starts with a letter to a boyfriend from a mental treatment center, full of emotions. The reader has to distill what has happened through the wall of pain. It is not easy to do. The author steps back from there and starts looking at memories of her childhood, which are also largely trauma narratives.I actually feel like I gained the m...
  • Chantelle Dixon
    Oh man. THIS BOOK. The writing is poetic and stream-of-conscious-like, which takes it to the next level but also is its downfall. You have to read s.l.o.w.l.y. to really appreciate the style, and she has these incredible one-liners that will just ZING you. And the guts of the story itself were beautiful and searing and terrible. Mailhot is a passionate, emotional narrator. Those are all good, incredible things.But it just didn't come together. It...
  • Tori (InToriLex)
    Find this and other Reviews at In Tori LexThe concise and powerful language used to describe the author's life in this book is amazing. The prose read more like poetry and was full of emotion and honest. Mailhot had a very troubling and abusive childhood that she slowly confronts in adulthood. The book describes her experience being hospitalized for her mental illness and how she navigates her relationships with the people in her life. Mailhot's ...
  • Kathleen
    My review from the Chicago Tribune: http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifesty...Sherman Alexie’s introduction to Terese Marie Mailhot’s debut memoir, “Heart Berries,” is incandescent with glowing praise, all of it deserved. “I was aware,” he writes, “within maybe three sentences that I was in the presence of a generational talent.” If that weren’t enough, in his blurb, he calls the book — centered on Mailhot’s coming of age on t...
  • Krista
    This story is yours, culprit of my pain. Which one of us is asking for mercy? Heart Berries is a memoir by the Salish writer Terese Marie Mailhot, told over eleven “fractured” essays. Growing up on Canada's West Coast, this could have been a sadly familiar-sounding Reserve-based childhood tale, but Mailhot is a writer with an edge and an MFA. Her “narrative” is beyond the ordinary (with an artist/activist mother whose correspondence with ...
  • Janelle
    This might sound odd, but I love literary fiction, psychological thrillers, and memoirs all for the same reason: they are thought-provoking. I love books that make you think. HEART BERRIES, a memoir by Terese Marie Mailhot, is one such book. It’s painfully honest and shows a very authentic perspective of the human condition. It’s no coincidence that @emmawatson chose it for her @oursharedshelf March selection, which I one hundred percent agre...
  • Mandy
    This was an artfully crafted memoir. It was honest, strong, mournful, beautiful. The book itself was small but the content heavy and big. Terese Marie Mailhot has a way with words. You can just FEEL them. In the afterword she is discussing honesty and disclosure. A statement she made I think really rings true to her book: "Crafting truth to be as bare as it feels (was important)". This was a book that was being read in a Goodreads book club and I...
  • Haley
    In the Afterword, Mailhot describes how this work started as fiction (pieces of it were even previously published as fiction) and eventually turned into non-fiction: "I realized I had been using the guise of fiction to show myself the truth, and the process of turning fiction into nonfiction was essentially stripping away everything that didn't actually happen to me, and filling those holes left behind with memory."Learning this contextualized a ...
  • Laurie • The Baking Bookworm
    2.5 STARS - In this small book, Mailhot, a Canadian Indigenous woman, bravely shares her personal feelings and experiences which are often brutal, bleak and sometimes shocking. She tells her story with a unique writing style that was like nothing I've ever read. Some phrases were deliciously poetic - the kind that readers will want to write down. Brief, powerful and wonderful. But these tidbits are interspersed within a story that felt disjointed...
  • Chelsea Bryan
    Heart Berries was relentlessly interesting on an intellectual, emotional and stylistic level, and painful to read. The way the plot moved and things got communicated was enigmatic and moving in a way that I find abstract visual art can be. I think the book is really a lot like modern art, and that it pushed the forefront and boundaries of memoir. On the emotional side, the narrator's internal and external struggles were so complicated that the bo...
  • Krystal
    This poetic memoir deconstructs Indigenous stereotypes, as Terese Marie Mailhot disrupts what her narrative should look like, re-imagining personal sovereignty on her own terms!
  • Xavier (CharlesXplosion)
    Mailhot is a writer to be reckoned with. Heart Berries is a raw, unfiltered look at Mailhot's life told via ethereal and poetic proses. However, Mailhot's proses felt disjointed at times making her story, at times, inaccessible to the reader.
  • Riva Sciuto
    "You think weakness is a problem. I want to be torn apart by everything. My people cultivated pain. In the way that god cultivated his garden with the foresight that he could not contain or protect the life within it. Humanity was born out of pain." ***What a brave, beautiful and emotional tour de force this is. It is short but powerful, capturing both the depth and breadth of the human condition. Written as an honest and raw love letter to her h...
  • Jerrie (redwritinghood)
    This short memoir deals with a lot of pretty heavy stuff, including child abuse, mental illness, poverty, and the struggles of indigenous cultures. Despite the brutality of the topics, the language is richly poetic and gripping.
  • Sue Dix
    I don’t even know how to begin. This is unlike anything I’ve read. It feels like you’re inside the author’s mind, looking out at her life as she comes to terms with herself, her family, her past, present, and future. It’s disquieting, often disturbing, brilliantly written.
  • Jaclyn Crupi
    I am destroyed.
  • Gabriella
    Really wish it wasn't the case, but this book was not the one for me...I feel like I wasn't in sync with Mailhot's thought process, which could definitely just be my fault as a reader. Every moment I wanted to be clear, was too abstract, and I felt a general distance from everything she was trying to say. :(I know this is on many peoples' TBRs, which was why I wanted to pick it up in the first place. I'm eager to see what y'all have to say about ...
  • Luke Gorham
    4.5. Memoir filtered through the poetics of mind and language. Raw, primal, elemental. Memory as abstraction; emotion as compass, weapon, and shield, and yet always as truth. Necessarily fragmented and apportioned, speaking to her loudest truths and structurally, aesthetically informed and sometimes mirroring her diagnosis. Completely unique and immersive reading experience.
  • Ashley
    I can hear my aunt's voice, telling me that if my security depends on a man's words or action, I've lost sight of my power.I think I am more a fan of spare, unpoetic prose. At certain times, the writing style of "Heart Berries" reminded me, slightly, of spoken-word poetry. It's just personal preference that this kind of art is really not to my taste. Neverthless, "Heart Berries" was an important read, offering a perspective that is rarely seen in...
  • Monika
    In his introduction for this memoir, Sherman Alexie writes that within three sentences he knew Mailhot was a "generational talent." That she was something completely and wholly new. I completely agree.
  • Janet
    I don't understand all the love for this book. Written in the first person and using short, staccato sentences Mailhot relates her experiences as an abused, indigenous woman. There is a Q&A section at the end of the book where she relates that she was trying to separate her story from emotion and mysticism and that called for plain language but to me, it came across as wooden and devoid of those qualities that would make it interesting to read. T...
  • Leigh
    Still processing - this was a difficult read for me and likely will be for folks with family histories of abuse or mental illness - there is a big room in the library in my head full of difficult books great for writing and reading the way out of trauma and this is one of those, absolutely. But beyond that:Terese Marie Mailhot is a staggeringly gifted writer. Her experimentation with form and style and her resistance to (I kind of hate to say thi...