A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Selected by Emma Watson as an Our Shared Shelf Book Club Pick
‘I loved it’ Kate Tempest
‘Astounding’ Roxane Gay
‘A sledgehammer’ New York Times
Heart Berries is a powerful, poetic memoir of a woman’s coming of age on an Indian Reservation in the Pacific Northwest. Having survived a profoundly dysfunctional upbringing only to find herself hospitalised 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.
Memory isn’t exact, but melded to imagination. In Heart Berries, Mailhot discovers her own true voice, seizes control of her story, and, in so doing, re-establishes her connection to her family, to her people, and to her place in the world.
- A triumphant and wrenching depiction of trauma, motherhood, mental illness, race and memory that has been heralded as ‘a new model for the memoir’ (New York Times)
- Heart Berries was a New York Times bestseller and was chosen by Emma Watson as an Our Shared Shelf book club pick
- For fans of Rupi Kaur, Reni Eddo-Lodge, Kate Tempest, Yrsa Daley Ward and Roxane Gay
“A sledgehammer … A mixture of vulnerability and rage, sexual yearning and artistic ambition, swagger and self mockery… A new model for the memoir” New York Times
“I loved it … Powerfully written, intricately executed. I felt like I read the whole thing in one breath” – Kate Tempest
Terese Marie Mailhot graduated from the Institute of American Indian Arts with an MFA in fiction. Heart Berries, her first book, was shortlisted for the 2018 Governor General’s Literary Award for Nonfiction. She teaches creative writing at Purdue University and resides in West Lafayette, Indiana.