Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot

Heart Berries A Memoir Hardcover Feb 13 2018

By Terese Marie Mailhot
Hardcover
$19.55 USD

An urgent, provocative new memoir written by a First Nations woman; the narrative style is non-linear, written like a lyrical prose poem, with echoes of the style found in recent works such as Maggie Nelson's The Argonauts Heart Berries pushes the boundaries of form, using storytelling as a way to reveal how memory functions or fragments (as a blend between remembrance, imagination, trauma, and acceptance) With an introduction by Sherman Alexie and confirmed forthcoming endorsements by Maggie Nelson, Roxane Gay, Louise Erdrich, Eula Bliss and Elissa Washuta Submitted for consideration for the ABA Indies Introduce and B&N Discover Great New Writers programs, as well as to the Junior Library Guild New Adult/YA Crossover catalogs For readers who loved Joy Harjo's CRAZY BRAVE and Lidia Yuknavitch's THE CHRONOLOGY OF WATER Author has published her essays widely, including in The Toast and The Rumpus, and her essay, "I Know I'll Go," was listed as notable in Best American Essays 2016. Praise from Librarians and Booksellers "Some books need us more than we need them. Others, the rare ones, are gifts that restore potency to language, confront trauma with wiliness and craft, and revitalize the world. Heart Berries is one these rare books." -Stephen Sparks, Point Reyes Books (Point Reyes Station, CA) "Heart Berries is a slender jewel of a memoir written by a wholly original and unexpected new voice. I have never read anyone like Terese Marie Mailhot-each page delivers new and delightful ways to play with words and sentence structure, in an extremely natural and organic way (nothing overwritten or precious here). It doesn't feel like it was written so much as physically extracted from her body like a root, gnarled and dirty and honest and beautiful. I cried, and laughed, and never wanted it to end. I can't wait to see what she does next." -Leah Cushman, Powell's Books (Portland, OR) "Over twenty years have passed since Mary Karr's Liars' Club burst on the scene and delivered an electric shock to the memoir. I'd say that's just about the appropriate amount of time for the dust to have settled enough to create the perfect environment in which Terese Marie Mailhot's debut, Heart Berries, could reawaken the genre once more. I'm not sure mental illness or America's pastime of indigenous exploitation has been tackled with such ferocity and honesty before. Mailhot has a knack for hiding poems within her prose, and each chapter sings with spine-chilling exactness. I found myself rereading almost every passage enough to where I had nearly read the book twice by the time I got to the end. Take my (and Sherman Alexie's) word here: Mailhot is a damn good voice-one to watch for many years to come." -John Gibbs, Green Apple Books on the Park (San Francisco, CA) "In a time of memoirs that, at best, help a reader know what vulnerability and facing down fear are, Terese Marie Mailhot's cathartic, moving Heart Berries, is one of the bravest and most fearless of such books. Her coming of age on a First Nation reservation, Seabird Island, in Canada, is particular to that vividly evoked place, but also carries larger universal lessons for the human spirit, its survival, its enduring every kind of trial and difficulty, to find meaning, dignity, and beauty. A necessary book." -Rick Simonson, Elliott Bay Book Company "This is the boldest kind of writing because it speaks directly to people. Terese Marie Mailhot addresses numerous people she has loved in her life-a mother, a father, a lover, and others-and in doing so, she gets right to the core of it: what it feels like to love, to accept love, despite our and its limitations. Heart Berries is a deep, wrenching, searching sort of book, and it contains impossibly raw, yet seamless, sentences: 'You think weakness is a problem. I want to be torn apart by everything.' It isn't sensational. To call anything in this memoir 'sensational' would be to eschew its logic. Everything in Heart Berries rings true to me. Many upturned stones appeared familiar, felt new. This writing is tactile. Though it deals in questions of love, health, grief, inheritance, and shame, it gave me something to hold." -Will Walton, Avid Bookshop (Athens, GA) "This book reads like a wildfire. Full of ferocious intellect, searing emotion, and fearless self-examination, Terese Marie Mailhot's memoir surges through the complexity and conflict of love, trauma, identity, and mental illness with language that crackles and burns right off the page. I was blown open reading her honest dispatches of life with her mother, the madness of romantic heartbreak, and her ventures toward love and stability. Brave is an easy word to describe this book, but it isn't enough. Resilient, courageous, powerful, aware, alive, unforgettable; this slender memoir is huge." -Julie Wernersbach, literary director of the Texas Book Festival "I have read at least two dozen memoirs this year; Heart Berries is the only one I was compelled to read twice. Heart Berries achieves that most elusive and sacred goal of literature-to make us feel less alone in the world. With a beautiful and original voice, Mailhot applies the precision of the poet to her prose. Each sentence feels necessary, each paragraph vital, as she grapples with daughterhood, motherhood, sisterhood, wifehood, and finally, selfhood. This is a book written against forgetting, against losing self to the needs and desires of others. It is the kind of writing that has the power to make us all forgive ourselves and to teach us that we each must take up our space in this world. But this isn't self-help. This is careful, crafted literature, the disciplined work of a masterful artist." -Tina Ontiveros, Klindt's Booksellers (The Dalles, OR), Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association board member "A poetic, absorbing memoir about love, trauma, shame, and mental illness. A beautiful and unsettling read." -Lexi Beach, Astoria Bookshop (Astoria, NY) "Terese is a Native American from the Seabird Island Indian Reservation in the Pacific Northwest. This gripping memoir is a no-holds-barred expression of her mental illness as she tries to come to grips with her dysfunctional family and the abuse she suffered as a child. Not only was she physically abused by family, but the cultural abuse she also experienced is gut wrenching. She is able to articulate the pain she feels and at times it is difficult to be in the place she resides, but her story is so compelling and her voice is so authentic that I was mesmerized by her experience. She writes beautifully and is so expressive. This is a story that needs to be read, and in a world where diversity is the word of the day, it is important to view her perspective and have compassion for all that she has endured." -Stephanie Crowe, Page and Palette (Fairhope, AL) "Terese Mailhot delivers one of the most poetic and heartbreaking memoirs I have read this year. Her prose and form take the typical memoir and turn it on its head. Unsurprisingly, she was one of Sherman Alexie's students, and shows the same inventiveness of style. Heart Berries is a beautiful and painful ode to struggles as a Native woman. I treasured Mailhot's words and ability to openly share her unique yet universal struggles as an indigenous person." -Kate Laubernds, Powell's Books (Portland, OR) "Heart Berries is slim but so potent. I found myself seized and unnerved by Mailhot's piercing command of language, and her courage in reforming her life's narrative. She's destined to become a must-read for those who've loved the work of writers like Mary Karr, Sherman Alexie, and Roxane Gay." -Leigh Atkins, Kepler's (Menlo Park, CA) "A beautiful book. Mailhot writes of Indian heritage, of poverty, of mental health, of dysfunctional love, of motherhood, of substance abuse without a trace of artifice or intellectual posturing. Instead, these are pieces of her life that she's witnessed, lived through, manifested, and transformed into story and writing that rumbles and pierces. The writing is intense and incredibly rendered, but what's more is how it serves to illuminate what's concrete-many of the images of her life will stay with me (not least, Paul Simon on the landline, a Stevie Ray Vaughan shrine on the table, a baby holding a hammer with her back against a banging door). Memoir at its best." -Molly Moore, BookPeople (Austin, TX) "Sometimes a writer seems to be peering into your life and peeking into your soul, instead of the other way around. And while she lays herself bare on the page, Mailhot also stripped away my own pretense of holding it together. As I turned each page, I felt just as lost as she. She writes of love and pain, and how love can be painful. While these themes don't make for an easy read, her words have an urgency and necessity that will connect readers to their own humanity." -Consuelo Marie Hacker, BookPeople (Austin, TX) "This is not ordinarily the sort of book I pick up, but I found it powerful and disturbing and heart-wrenching to read. Mailhot writes her madness in an extraordinarily compelling way, one that viscerally portrays the abuse and trauma at the heart of her story. Every time I went to put it down, I found myself compelled to pick it up again." -Jenny Craig, librarian, Seattle Public Library "I feel completely inadequate in writing a review of something from such a place of unique heart-wrenching perspective, obsession, anguish, and culture. I think Sherman [Alexie]'s intro and his own fumbling for enough exclamation points to endorse [Mailhot's] writing kind of sums up my own response . . . What a courageous book." -Jesica Sweedler DeHart, Neill Public Library (Pullman, WA)

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Product Details

Format
Hardcover
Publisher
Counterpoint
Publication date
Feb 13 2018
Language
English
Pages
160
ISBN-13
9781619023345
ISBN-10
1619023342
Dimensions
127.0mm x 204.0mm