Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot review – a raw, rich indigenous memoir

A bestselling portrayal of sexual abuse, racial cruelty and addiction is enlivened by wry, deadpan humour and an account of a strong mother-daughter bond

It is difficult, virtually impossible, in this time not to read art against a political backdrop. Voices of difference or dissent are necessary for their reminder of what is being attacked and why we must fight. The danger is that the voice itself gets lost in its greater significance, and we do not hear it clearly, its specific cadences and particularities, what distinguishes it from another in the same camp. The camp becomes the voice.

From the first few lines of Terese Mailhot’s bestselling debut memoir, it is clear that homogenisation will not be tolerated. This is a voice so distinct in tone, texture and personality that the community from which it springs is immediately rendered secondary. Mailhot writes compassionately from deep within the Native experience, ...