Good Minds Suggest: Terese Marie Mailhot's Recommended Memoirs

Posted by Goodreads on January 31, 2018

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Terese Marie Mailhot is a writer from a small Indian reservation in British Columbia, Canada. Her book Heart Berries illustrates her experience as a First Nations woman who grew up in poverty and dysfunction and who was later institutionalized and diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder as well as bipolar disorder. Heart Berries began as a series of essays Mailhot wrote during her treatment, and the book is her personal exploration of a brutal history.

Mailhot is the first Tecumseh Postdoctoral Fellow at Purdue University, and she's also a member of the creative writing faculty at the Institute of American Indian Arts, where she received her MFA in fiction.

Here, she shares five powerful memoirs that she says shaped the trajectory for her own memoir and work as a nonfiction writer and teacher.

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"Bluets is transformative. The work is poetry and memoir, and Nelson is able to expound on large ideas with her heart—it's sincere and has captured me forever. It's a weird and small book that gave me permission to write mine."

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"The book is necessary because how many books are written by indigenous men about childhood trauma and sexual violence? He wrote from pain, and you can feel it in the page. This book breaks my heart. Sherman breaks my heart."

"Roxane is the most intelligent woman I've ever been around. That type of power, on a line level, is thrilling to read. She's also profoundly vulnerable and writes shame in a way I have never seen."

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"Evan calls this a 'memoivel,' and it's brilliant. He's so astute and hilarious, just naturally as a human being, and that interiority and voice is always striking to read."

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"The book changed me. There are parts that are all run-on sentences and first-person plural, and there are so many risks that pay off in the book—it confounded me as a writer and liberated me from everything that was holding me back artistically when we think of what a memoir 'should' do."

Want more book recommendations from authors? Check out our Good Minds Suggest series.

Comments Showing 1-11 of 11 (11 new)

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message 1: by F.B. (new)

F.B. Bennett Wally Lamb's "She's Come Undone" would be a brilliant addition to this list. A very powerful read!

message 2: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Thanks for the suggestions! I have enjoyed several of these titles already and have added the others to my "want to read" list.

Right now your book is completely meeting all my reading needs! Your writing is so compelling and approachable that it took me twenty pages or so to realize the immensity of the insights available through your honesty. So I have stepped back from my habit of devouring words and have started over, reading only a few pages at a time to make space for my own responses. So beautifully written and courageous-thank you, thank you, thank you! warmly, Melissa

message 3: by Marie-anne (new)

Marie-anne Pronovost F. wrote: "Wally Lamb's "She's Come Undone" would be a brilliant addition to this list. A very powerful read!"

I absolutely agree!

message 4: by Desire'E (new)

Desire'E Snowden This was a good night to read, I stumbled upon several terrific excerpts. They will all keep me busy for awhile. Very interesting reads from so many different avenues. Also located for the 1st,
Good Minds Suggest. Very well selected. Thank You!

message 5: by Gwen (new)

Gwen F. wrote: "Wally Lamb's "She's Come Undone" would be a brilliant addition to this list. A very powerful read!"

This is a list of memoirs that has influenced the author. She's Come Undone is a novel.

message 6: by Marge Schoen (new)

Marge Schoen The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah is wonderful if you enjoy WWII
books. Very disturbing and yet the truth makes it a "can't put it down " read.
Marge Schoen

message 7: by Boubakeur (new)

Boubakeur Khellil She is a brilliant writer and a strong thinker ... I tried to read smore about her but I was in a hurry because I have other jobs if I have another chance I will try to read after translation ... I am a novice writer write to children stories in a wonderful and elegant way of course write in Arabic .. I received an award outside of my country Algeria for the first time in 2012 and ranked from 471 7th rank and this was an incentive to write .... Once again I am very impressed with the writer .... Abu Bakr Algeria east...

message 8: by Boubakeur (new)

Boubakeur Khellil am a novice writer write to children stories in a wonderful and elegant way of course write in Arabic.....

message 9: by Celina (new)

Celina All Over But the Shoutin' (Rick Bragg) undid me, in a good way.

message 10: by Jaya (new)

Jaya Drats I like some of these choices, but I found it interesting that even though THREE DAYS OF THE ANIMAL OLYMPIANS was pure fiction, HUMANS NEED THREE HANDS read much more like a memoir and smacked of verisimilitude and stark reality more than many actual memoirs do.

message 11: by Tom (new)

Tom Thanks. I have some choices.

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