Another Story Bookshop and Doubleday Canada present the Toronto launch for
Heart Berries: A Memoir by Terese Marie Mailhot
Friday March 16th
Doors open @7pm/event begins @7:30pm
Native Canadian Centre of Toronto
16 Spadina Ave (at Bloor)
Free - all welcome
Fully wheelchair accessible
Featuring a reading by Terese Marie Mailhot and conversation with Cherie Dimaline
Co-sponsored by Andpva (The Association for Native Development in the Performing & Visual Arts). This event is part of their Writer's Room Series. ANDPVA's Writers Room serves Indigenous writers with professional development and a reading series.
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.
"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. She writes of motherhood, loss, absence, want, suffering, love, mental illness, betrayal and survival. She does this without blinking but to say she is fearless would be to miss the point. These essays are too intimate, too absorbing, too beautifully written, but never ever too much. What Mailhot has accomplished in this exquisite book is brilliance both raw and refined, testament." —Roxane Gay
"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–shortlisted novel Son of a Trickster
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.
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