Turning Pages: A Memoir of Books and Libraries and Loss

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Terese Mailhot is a truly fearless writer, and this little book is nothing short of a gift. Terese Marie Mailhot has one of those voices, and her memoir about being raised on a Canadian reservation and coming to understand what it means to be an indigenous person in modern times is breathtaking. Mailhot writes masterfully about love and forgiveness, and learning to accept intimacy while still protecting oneself.

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Tough subject matter, yes, but she approaches it with a disarming and often devastating turn of phrase and the evocation of the fragmentary nature of memory. This is a short book that packs a punch. The result is this singularly moving, poetic book, one full of rage and desire, fear and brilliance. Prepare for it to sink its teeth into your very heart. I have always been terrified and in awe of the power of words — but Mailhot does not let them silence her in Heart Berries.

How does a woman raised on a reservation in Canada forge a lifestory in the face of a culture hell bent on keeping her quiet and calm?


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Terese radically reinvents language in order to surface what has been murdered by American culture: the body of a woman, the voice of a warrior, the stories of ancestral spirit jutting up and through the present tense. I am mesmerized by her lyricism because it is shot through with funny angry beautiful brutal truths.

This is a writer for our times who simultaneously blows up time. Thank oceans. There is no forgetting in Heart Berries —there is remembrance upon remembrance, and as readers, we bear witness. It is the least we can do when given such a powerful story. Mailhot makes beautiful sentences out of ugly things, addressing the complexities of mental illness, the particular damage wrought by sexual abuse, and the injustices of racism and white male supremacy, in a distinctive, uncompromising style. It is a very empowering read, hard-hitting and politically charged, while at the same time offering a tender celebration of motherhood, its expansive love, its defiance.

Your memoir is primarily pain focused, or an act of catharsis.

In titled essays, it is a poetic memoir told in otherworldly sentences. Not shy, nor raw, nor typical in any way, this is a powerfully crafted and vulnerable account of living and writing about it. This debut is slim. Explicitly discussing mental health and anger as Mailhot does combats systems meant to keep us silent about our pain and internal struggles.

She shouts it, and in the process, creates a space for other American Indian women to do the same. For the person who knows that shame dissipates when you figure out how to tell your story. For the person who knows that the only way out of trauma can be by meeting it head-on. Mailhot skillfully examines and probes what we think we know about language and memory, imagination and grief, mental health and becoming, pain and love.

She asks us to do better, just as she shows herself becoming a more fully-realized version of herself through the course of her book. An elegant, deeply expressive meditation infused with humanity and grace. This unconventional epic should be part of the canon. It is a thing of beauty. What did Mailhot do with all that? She wrote her way out of her trauma, finding forgiveness, understanding, peace, and triumph along the way. Somehow, [Mailhot] has found the words—most unusual ones—to tell her story, and because she uses words in such strange ways, the result is spooky and powerful.

The incidents she recounts are horrific on their face, but rendered with a sense of proportion and self-knowledge that rarely emerges from happier lives.

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Above all, perhaps, it is a story about women telling stories—the power of women speaking or writing hard truths about their lives. Her own gift is the ability to speak the truth without fear of consequence.

It is wholly enchanting. Mailhot wrings grand truths out of even the predictable events that define most lives. In gorgeous prose and with searing honesty, she shares her fight for both love and independence. In the poetic essays that compose this memoir, Terese Marie Mailhot examines coming of age on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation in the Pacific Northwest; post traumatic stress disorder and bipolar II disorder; memorializing her mother; reconciling with her father; and more. Absolutely astonishing in its wrestling of hustle and heart. A lyrical work from a remarkable new author, Heart Berries is a triumph.

It is electric honesty and rigorous craft. It concerns a woman who veers into difficult and haunted corners. She meets ghosts and hospitals.

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The resulting story is brave and bewitching. I am so grateful to Terese Marie Mailhot, a fiery new voice, whose words devoured my heart. Inside that opening is beauty beyond all measure, the truth that art was invented to carry, and power enough to light the word. This book is that kind of opening. I finished the book and went right back to the beginning to read through once again; my understanding deepened, as did the mystery.

She sends a manifesto toward remembering—culture and heartbreak and laughter. She writes to the men who love these women. She writes prose tight as a perfect sheet, tucked. To read this book is to engage with one of our very best minds at work.

All at Sea

I was blown open reading her honest dispatches of life with her mother, the madness of romantic heartbreak, and her ventures toward love and stability. By refusing to give answers Who is the Forest Pantser? In this outstanding near-future military action thriller, Russian forces invade Kenya to reclaim a rare earths mine they lost control of years before.

The various battles—fought on land, sea, and in the air—are exciting, realistic, and technically detailed, complete with the high emotions experienced by the combatants.


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A largely queer and physically and ethnically diverse cast inhabits this graphic novel vision of Berkeley, and its exploration of toxic relationships and social dynamics at the cusp of adulthood is, like its characters, sharp and dazzling. In Jim Crow—era Florida, high school student Elwood Curtis is erroneously detained by police before being sent to Nickel Academy, a juvenile reform school where the boys—especially the black boys—suffer from near-constant physical, verbal, and sexual abuse. In this stunning anthology, 25 speculative fiction superstars draw from the present moment to create often chilling, always plausible visions of the future.

Readers will take inspiration and comfort from the themes of hope, compassion, and courage running through these postapocalyptic stories. The biracial, bisexual son of the first female president of the United States falls for the Prince of England in this outstanding, escapist romance. The irresistible drama of their impossible relationship is interlaced with a healthy dose of humor and tender, secretive love scenes.

McQuiston's debut is a treat. There, her actions have dangerous consequences.