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Community Read: Nuances of American Indian Health

Heart Berries

June 22, 2021

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Community Read

Community Read is a monthly reading & journaling group hosted by the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library; Office of the Associate Vice President for Health Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion; and the School of Medicine’s Office of Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. Summer sessions are co-sponsored by the Native American Research Internship (NARI) and the American Indian Resource Center (AIRC).

CME credit is available for this series, as is attendance credit for Nursing and Dental faculty.

“Heart Berries” by Terese Marie Mailhot

ISBN: 9781619023345
Publication Date: 2018-02-06

A powerful, poetic memoir of an Indigenous woman’s coming of age on the Seabird Island Band in the Pacific Northwest–this New York Times bestseller and Emma Watson Book Club pick is “an illuminating account of grief, abuse and the complex nature of the Native experience . . . at once raw and achingly beautiful (NPR) 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 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.

Organizer: Office for Health Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion

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Organizer: Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library

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Organizer: American Indian Resource Center

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Organizer: School of Medicine’s Office of Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

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