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Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot
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Heart Berries

A Memoir

$11.49 USD

Narrator Rainy Fields
Length 3 hours 45 minutes
Language English
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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 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 us 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.

Terese Marie Mailhot graduated from the Institute of American Indian Arts with an MFA 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.

Rainy Fields was born in Claremore, Oklahoma. Fields is a registered member of the Muskogee Creek Nation and is of Cherokee descent. She spent most of her childhood in a small town in Illinois. Around the age of eleven her family moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico. She slipped a disc the summer before starting college. Which lead to a MED (Micro-endoscopic discetomy) during her freshman finals week. Life came to a stand-still. Her type-A personality had to take a back seat and she slowly learned to stop and smell the roses. The need to boast her GPA after having surgery, led her to taking an acting class at the University of New Mexico. She fell in love with acting and later graduated with a BA in theater, with an emphasis in acting. Upon completion of UNM, Fields moved to Los Angeles, California. Rainy enjoys spending her time taking improv classes at UCB. She is a member of the all-Native Improv Troupe, The Mayflower Welcoming Committee. Rainy is an ensemble member of Native Voices at the Autry, the country's only Equity theater company dedicated to creating and developing new works by Native playwrights. She also cohosts the podcast Hollywood Ndnz, which explores what it's like to be Native and in the entertainment industry.

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Reviews

"To read this book is to engage with one of our very best minds at work." ---Toni Jensen, author of From the Hilltop Expand reviews