I am in awe of the way Terese Marie Mailhot manages to oscillate between stunningly crafted sentences and stark moments of confession. Mailhot writes the body, in a way I have not encountered before: as though it is both tether and wings, rooted and yet decidedly unbound, buried and free form.
Words like courageous, honest, truth, cannot encompass Heart Berries and the rhetoric it holds. Mailhot's work resists definition because she is writing beyond genre-limiting labels. Mailhot's storytelling exists within a continuum extending far beyond common understanding of "memoir" or "life story."
To really sit in the contradictions and to make art amongst hurt and trauma and joy and loss is a beautiful kind of artistry. Indeed, one that demands much more of the author than the reader will ever know. In fact, nothing I can say about this book will come close to really describing how moved I was, and will continue to be, by this work. The best I can do is say:
This is a meditation on existence, recognition, and pain. Read it. Read it again. Stop reading and really listen to the story.