After checking herself in to a psychiatric hospital in 2013, writer Terese Mailhot was given a notebook. The result is her award-winning debut memoir Heartberries, which tells the story of her coming-of-age on the Seabird Island First Nation in British Columbia, sometimes-tumultuous family relationships, and adult struggles with mental illness.
"My book is essentially about how to love when you come from a dysfunctional home and you have these long shadows of shame kind of following you everywhere you go," said Mailhot, now a New York Times Bestselling author, in an interview with Wyoming Public Radio's Savannah Maher. During a recent visit to the University of Wyoming, Mailhot talked about the book's success and what Native writers risk and gain when they choose to put their stories out into the word.
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