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Heart Berries: A Memoir

Heart Berries: A Memoir

Author: Terese Mailhot; Sherman Alexie (Introduction by); Joan Naviyuk Kane (Afterword by)
$39.99(AUD)  inc GST
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Description
*New York Times Bestseller
*National Bestseller

*Named one of the most anticipated books of 2018 by: Chatelaine, Entertainment Weekly, ELLE, Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Huffington Post, B*tch, NYLON, BuzzFeed, Bustle, The Rumpus and Goodreads

*A New York Times Editor's Choice

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

Guileless and refreshingly honest, Terese Mailhot's debut memoir chronicles her struggle to balance the beauty of her Native heritage with the often desperate and chaotic reality of life on the reservation.

Heart Berries is a powerful, poetic memoir of a woman's coming of age on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation in British Columbia. Having survived a profoundly dysfunctional upbringing only to find herself hospitalized and facing a dual diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Bipolar II, Terese 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.

Promotion info

Marketing $15,000 marketing and publicity budget ARCs available 5 months in advance Independent bookstore co-op: 5/$25 Goodreads and Shelf Awareness giveaways and paid social media promotions Publicity Events throughout the Pacific Northwest, Seabird Island (BC), El Paso (TX), Las Cruces/Albuquerque (NM), West Lafayette (IN), in (joint reading with Sherman Alexie as well) Possible appearances at Los Angeles Times Book Festival, Word on the Street, Potential lectures at Institute of American Indian Arts, Texas Tech Lubbock, University of Montana, Missoula Coverage in women's magazines (O, Elle, Marie Claire) literary publications (Harper's, The Atlantic, The New Yorker), feminist publications (Bust, Ms.), Native American Publications (Native American Times, Native Peoples Magazine) Seeking feature coverage/profiles in New York Times Magazine (ex. feature profile on Patricia Lockwood), New York Magazine, Pacific Northwest Magazine, Jezebel Original essay placement about the treatment of Native American women in Lenny Letter, New York Times/ original essay placement about mother's relationship with convicted murderer being the basis for Paul Simon's play Capeman National broadcast radio and podcast coverage (Fresh Air, Weekend Edition, Morning Edition, The Takeaway, To the Best of Our Knowledge, Seeking national broadcast coverage; Leonard Lopate, Think Out Loud Widespread outreach to librarians and book clubs Author is on Twitter at @TereseMarieM

Reviews

Praise for Heart Berries The Rumpus Book Club Selection for January "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 "Inside Terese Mailhot's phenomenal memoir Heart Berries the truth wrestles a knot between hustle and heart. How does a woman raised on a reservation in Canada forge a lifestory in the face of a culture hell bent on keeping her quiet and calm? By and through her body, is how, and this woman's body rages, desires, screams and whispers its way into the reader's body, as if to remind us that the rest of the story will not be silenced. Terese radically reinvents language in order to surface what has been murdered by American culture: the body of a woman, the voice of a warrior, the stories of ancestral spirit jutting up and through the present tense. I am mesmerized by her lyricism because it is shot through with funny angry beautiful brutal truths. This is a writer for our times who simultaneously blows up time. Thank oceans." --Lidia Yuknavitch, author of The Book of Joan, The Small Backs of Children, Dora: A Headcase, and The Chronology of Water "Heart Berries is an epic take--an Iliad for the indigenous. It is the story of one First Nation woman and her geographic, emotional, and theological search for meaning in a colonial world. It is disturbing and hilarious. It contains sentences of such poetry and power that you will be compelled to set the book down and walk away to recover from the tremors. Terese is a world-changing talent and I recommend this book with 100% of my soul." --Sherman Alexie, author of You Don't Have to Say You Love Me "Mailhot's first book defies containment and categorization. In titled essays, it is a poetic memoir told in otherworldly sentences . . . Not shy, nor raw, nor typical in any way, this is a powerfully crafted and vulnerable account of living and writing about it." --Booklist "Mailhot fearlessly addresses intimately personal issues with a scorching honesty derived from psychological pain and true epiphany . . . 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. An elegant, deeply expressive meditation infused with humanity and grace." --Kirkus Reviews "Heart Berries by Terese Mailhot: Stories that untell the dominant culture's cover story from the point of view of a First Nation Woman. Absolutely astonishing in its wrestling of hustle and heart." --Lidia Yuknavitch, "A Year in Reading," The Millions "This book is ache and balm. It is electric honesty and rigorous craft. It concerns a woman who veers into difficult and haunted corners. She meets ghosts and hospitals. She ends up in a mutinous wing of memoir, disobeying all colonial postures, 'neat narratives, ' formulas and governments. The resulting story is brave and bewitching. I am so grateful to Terese Marie Mailhot, a fiery new voice, whose words devoured my heart." --Kyo Maclear, bestselling author of Birds Art Life "There is some word we have not invented yet that means honesty to the hundredth power, that means courage, exponentially extended, that means I will flay myself for my art, for my survival, for my family, to keep breathing, to keep writing, to keep being alive. Inside that opening is beauty beyond all measure, the truth that art was invented to carry, and power enough to light the word. This book is that kind of opening." --Pam Houston, author of Contents May Have Shifted "Heart Berries makes me think of a quote I have always loved: 'Beauty is truth, truth beauty' (Keats). With a keen eye for intense truth and thoroughly crafted beauty, Mailhot's debut sings like poetry, and stays with you long after you've finished the last page." --Katherena Vermette, award-winning author of The Break "Heart Berries is phenomenal. I finished the book and went right back to the beginning to read through once again; my understanding deepened, as did the mystery. Mailhot's voice is so clear, so disruptive, so assured, and always so mesmerizingly poetic--it somehow startles and lulls all at once. I was KNOCKED DOWN." --Justin Torres, author of We the Animals "Unearthing medicine and receiving power requires you to give your life, and in her debut memoir, Mailhot fearlessly delivers. By turns tender, sad, angry, and funny, Heart Berries is a thought-provoking, powerful exploration of what it means to be a contemporary Indigenous woman and mother." --Eden Robinson, author of the Scotiabank Giller Prize short-listed novel Son of a Trickster "In this debut memoir, Terese Marie Mailhot sends across generations a love letter to women considered difficult. She sends a manifesto toward remembering--culture and heartbreak and laughter. She writes to the men who love these women. She writes prose tight as a perfect sheet, tucked . . . To read this book is to engage with one of our very best minds at work." --Toni Jensen, author of From the Hilltop "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) "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) Praise for Heart Berries "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 "Mailhot's first book defies containment and categorization. In titled essays, it is a poetic memoir told in otherworldly sentences . . . Not shy, nor raw, nor typical in any way, this is a powerfully crafted and vulnerable account of living and writing about it." --Booklist "Inside Terese Mailhot's phenomenal memoir Heart Berries the truth wrestles a knot between hustle and heart. How does a woman raised on a reservation in Canada forge a lifestory in the face of a culture hell bent on keeping her quiet and calm? By and through her body, is how, and this woman's body rages, desires, screams and whispers its way into the reader's body, as if to remind us that the rest of the story will not be silenced. Terese radically reinvents language in order to surface what has been murdered by American culture: the body of a woman, the voice of a warrior, the stories of ancestral spirit jutting up and through the present tense. I am mesmerized by her lyricism because it is shot through with funny angry beautiful brutal truths. This is a writer for our times who simultaneously blows up time. Thank oceans." --Lidia Yuknavitch, author of The Book of Joan, The Small Backs of Children, Dora: A Headcase, and The Chronology of Water "Heart Berries is an epic take--an Iliad for the indigenous. It is the story of one First Nation woman and her geographic, emotional, and theological search for meaning in a colonial world. It is disturbing and hilarious. It contains sentences of such poetry and power that you will be compelled to set the book down and walk away to recover from the tremors. Terese is a world-changing talent and I recommend this book with 100% of my soul." --Sherman Alexie, author of You Don't Have to Say You Love Me "This book is ache and balm. It is electric honesty and rigorous craft. It concerns a woman who veers into difficult and haunted corners. She meets ghosts and hospitals. She ends up in a mutinous wing of memoir, disobeying all colonial postures, 'neat narratives, ' formulas and governments. The resulting story is brave and bewitching. I am so grateful to Terese Marie Mailhot, a fiery new voice, whose words devoured my heart." --Kyo Maclear, bestselling author of Birds Art Life "Mailhot fearlessly addresses intimately personal issues with a scorching honesty derived from psychological pain and true epiphany . . . 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. An elegant, deeply expressive meditation infused with humanity and grace." --Kirkus Reviews "There is some word we have not invented yet that means honesty to the hundredth power, that means courage, exponentially extended, that means I will flay myself for my art, for my survival, for my family, to keep breathing, to keep writing, to keep being alive. Inside that opening is beauty beyond all measure, the truth that art was invented to carry, and power enough to light the word. This book is that kind of opening." --Pam Houston, author of Contents May Have Shifted "Heart Berries makes me think of a quote I have always loved: 'Beauty is truth, truth beauty' (Keats). With a keen eye for intense truth and thoroughly crafted beauty, Mailhot's debut sings like poetry, and stays with you long after you've finished the last page." --Katherena Vermette, award-winning author of The Break "Heart Berries is phenomenal. I finished the book and went right back to the beginning to read through once again; my understanding deepened, as did the mystery. Mailhot's voice is so clear, so disruptive, so assured, and always so mesmerizingly poetic--it somehow startles and lulls all at once. I was KNOCKED DOWN." --Justin Torres, author of We the Animals "Unearthing medicine and receiving power requires you to give your life, and in her debut memoir, Mailhot fearlessly delivers. By turns tender, sad, angry, and funny, Heart Berries is a thought-provoking, powerful exploration of what it means to be a contemporary Indigenous woman and mother." --Eden Robinson, author of the Scotiabank Giller Prize short-listed novel Son of a Trickster "In this debut memoir, Terese Marie Mailhot sends across generations a love letter to women considered difficult. She sends a manifesto toward remembering--culture and heartbreak and laughter. She writes to the men who love these women. She writes prose tight as a perfect sheet, tucked . . . To read this book is to engage with one of our very best minds at work." --Toni Jensen, author of From the Hilltop "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) "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) "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) "Inside Terese Mailhot's phenomenal memoir Heart Berries the truth wrestles a knot between hustle and heart. How does a woman raised on a reservation in Canada forge a lifestory in the face of a culture hell bent on keeping her quiet and calm? By and through her body, is how, and this woman's body rages, desires, screams and whispers its way into the reader's body, as if to remind us that the rest of the story will not be silenced. Terese radically reinvents language in order to surface what has been murdered by American culture: the body of a woman, the voice of a warrior, the stories of ancestral spirit jutting up and through the present tense. I am mesmerized by her lyricism because it is shot through with funny angry beautiful brutal truths. This is a writer for our times who simultaneously blows up time. Thank oceans." --Lidia Yuknavitch, author of The Book of Joan, The Small Backs of Children, Dora: A Headcase, and The Chronology of Water

Author description

TERESE MARIE MAILHOT graduated from the Institute of American Indian Arts with an M.F.A. in fiction. Mailhot's work has appeared in The Rumpus, the Los Angeles Times, Carve Magazine, The Offing, The Toast, Yellow Medicine Review, and elsewhere. The recipient of several fellowships--SWAIA Discovery Fellowship, Vermont Studio Center Fellowship, Writing by Writers Fellowship, and the Elk Writer's Workshop Fellowship--she was recently named the Tecumseh Postdoctoral Fellow at Purdue University and resides in West Lafayette, Indiana.

Table of contents

Table of Contents 1 INDIAN CONDITION 2 HEART BERRIES 3 INDIAN SICK 4 IN A PECAN FIELD 5 YOUR BLACK EYE AND MY BIRTH 6 I KNOW I'LL GO 7 LITTLE MOUNTAIN WOMAN 8 THE LEAVING DEFICIT 9 THUNDER BEING HONEY BEAR 10 INDIAN CONDITION 11 BETTER PARTS

Stock Information

General Fields

  • : 9781619023345
  • : Counterpoint Press
  • : Counterpoint Press
  • : February 2018
  • : 204mm X 127mm
  • : United States
  • : February 2018
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 160
  • : Terese Mailhot; Sherman Alexie (Introduction by); Joan Naviyuk Kane (Afterword by)
  • : Hardback
  • : English
  • : 971.1/37004970092