Book of the Week: Heart Berries

Heart Berries: A Memoir by Terese Marie Mailhot

The critically acclaimed debut book from Nlaka’pamux author Terese Marie Mailhot is a memoir about growing up on the Seabird Island First Nation reservation (near Agassiz).

Heart Berries follows her journey through a traumatic childhood and then, moving off the reservation to Saskatchewan, where she begins to suffer the combined effects of bipolar disorder and PTSD as a result of the abuse she suffered as a child.

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She commits herself to an institution and, once there, begins to write her memoir.

Heart Berries continues with Mailhot beginning writing courses at New Mexico State University and teaching English classes at a nearby community college, all the while dealing with the fallout from her past, navigating two marriages and her fraught relationship with her three children.

The author has many moments of reflection throughout her memoir as her writing career takes her through the Institute of American Indian Arts (Mailhot is currently a professor there) to becoming an online columnist and a post-doctoral fellow at Purdue University.

Throughout her memoir, Mailhot highlights many issues that Indigenous people, in particular women and girls, have faced and continue to face.

Heart Berries could not have come out at a better time as we confront our country’s legacy of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.

Commemorate National Indigenous Peoples’ History Month by borrowing Mailhot’s Heart Berries from your local library. 

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