Truth Is My Aesthetic
November 9, 2018 7:51 AM   Subscribe

Author Terese Mailhot on leaving the reservation, breaking silence, and embracing complicated cross-cultural love.

In Terese Mailhot’s debut memoir, Heart Berries, she traces her coming of age story on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation, writing candidly about the love and violence she experienced. When a relationship with a white man ignites a passion that finds her hospitalized and confronting unreconciled childhood trauma, she gets diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and bipolar II disorder. To survive, she picks up a notebook and begins to write her way out, weaving together both the beautiful and ugly elements of her upbringing.

posted by poffin boffin (5 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
That was really impressive, thanks for posting.
posted by The Toad at 8:01 AM on November 9, 2018

Sounds very interesting. Looks like the Seabird Island First Nation is in BC. She mentions the Hague Convention, so it sounds like she was challenging the adoption of her first child in Canada after moving to the U.S.?
posted by praemunire at 8:16 AM on November 9, 2018

Heart Berries was so singular and surprising; I read it breathlessly on vacation and then immediately read it again from the beginning, which I rarely do. I am so interested in her voice and her experience, and I was so glad the interview had so many other good links inside it that I can explore to learn more. Thank you for posting this!
posted by stellaluna at 10:17 AM on November 9, 2018

Heart Berries was excellent. I hope we'll hear a lot more from Terese Mailhot. Thanks for making this post!
posted by S'Tella Fabula at 10:17 AM on November 9, 2018

Wow. Powerful voice. Here's the Goodreads page on the book. Sea Bird Island is ~ 75 mi E of Vancouver on the Fraser River.

The region was the site of a decades-long gold rush beginning in 1857 - leading to the seldom-mentioned Fraser Canyon War between miners and natives in 1858. The island was 'selected for' the band about 20 years later.
posted by Twang at 6:28 PM on November 9, 2018

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