A powerful, poetic memoir of an Indigenous woman's coming of age on the Seabird Island Band in the Pacific Northwest—this New York Times bestseller and Emma Watson Book Club pick is “an illuminating account of grief, abuse and the complex nature of the Native experience . . . at once raw and achingly beautiful (NPR)
Having survived a profoundly dysfunctional upbringing only to find herself hospitalized and facing a dual diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder and bipolar II disorder, Terese Marie Mailhot is given a notebook and begins to write her way out of trauma. The triumphant result is Heart Berries, a memorial for Mailhot's mother, a social worker and activist who had a thing for prisoners; a story of reconciliation with her father―an abusive drunk and a brilliant artist―who was murdered under mysterious circumstances; and an elegy on how difficult it is to love someone while dragging the long shadows of shame.
Mailhot trusts the reader to understand that memory isn't exact, but melded to imagination, pain, and what we can bring ourselves to accept. Her unique and at times unsettling voice graphically illustrates her mental state. As she writes, she discovers her own true voice, seizes control of her story, and, in so doing, reestablishes her connection to her family, to her people, and to her place in the world.
Witch' is a powerful word with humble origins. Once used to describe an ancient British tribe known for its unique class of female physicians and priestesses, it grew into something grotesque, diabolical and dangerous. A History of Women in Medicine: History of Women in Medicine reveals the untold story of forgotten female physicians, their lives, practices and subsequent denomination as witches. Originally held in high esteem in their communities, these women used herbs and ancient psychological processes to relieve the suffering of their patients. Often traveling long distances, moving from village to village, their medical and spiritual knowledge blended the boundaries between physician and priest. These ancient healers were the antithesis of the witch figure of today; instead they were knowledgeable therapists commanding respect, gratitude and high social status. In this pioneering work, Sinéad Spearing draws on current archeological evidence, literature, folklore, case studies and original religious documentation to bring to life these forgotten healers. By doing so she exposes the elaborate conspiracy conceived by the Church to corrupt them in the eyes of the world. Turning these women from benevolent therapists into the embodiment of evil required a fabricated theology to ensure those who collected medicinal herbs or practiced healing, would be viewed by society as dealing with the devil. From this diabolical association, female healers could then be labeled witches and be justly tortured and tried in the ensuing hysteria known today as the European witch craze.
Imagine how it would feel to one day wake up and find your vision descending swiftly into darkness. Your fingertips are turning numb, and, as the world closes in around you, you realise there is nothing you can do to stop it. This is what happened to Vanessa Potter.
In the space of 72 hours, Vanessa went from juggling a high-flying career as a producer and caring for her two small children to being completely blind, unable to walk, and with her sense of touch completely gone.
Over the course of the next six months, Vanessa slowly began to recover. Opening her eyes onto a black-and-white world with mutating shapes and colours that crackled and fizzled, she encountered a visual landscape that was completely unrecognisable. As colour reappeared, Vanessa experienced a range of bizarre phenomena as her confused brain tried to make sense of the world around her, and she found herself touching and talking to inanimate objects in order to stimulate her vision – all part of her brain's mechanism for coping with the trauma of sensory loss.
Going blind led Vanessa to turn science sleuth, reinventing herself as Patient H69 to uncover the reality behind her unique condition. With the help of a team of psychologists and neuroscientists, we follow her story as she learns the science of herself, making discoveries that will positively change the course of her life.
Vanessa's account is raw and candid, but ultimately upbeat. It shows how this remarkable woman opened doors by transforming her terrifying experience into an inspirational and scientifically fascinating endeavour.
A true story ... The SHOCKING BESTSELLER!
"I always thought when consuming drugs they can fuck my body and do whatever they want with me. Because I hate my body, I'm fat and ugly and bulky – and I don't deserve better anyway. But during the moments when the drugs stop working I realize that those people do also fuck my soul. That hurts, well, no, there's more to it than that: it kills you without destroying your body, you're left behind, knowing you're fucked up, beyond cure, and that you gotta live with it …"
Having just come of age, the author tells about her childhood, having grown up in a children's home, started to consume drugs at the age of twelve, about street prostitution motivated by drug addiction, the tough life amidst johns, pimps and drug dealers and her attempt to escape – in one way or another.
Unrelently honest and very outspoken, she describes the other side of the world we live in, a life devoid of comfort, without a family, yet subsidized or at least tolerated by the state.
One of the most enduringly popular and controversial writers of the twentieth century, George Orwell's work is as relevant today as it was in his own lifetime. Possibly, in the age of Brexit, Trump, and populism, even more so. 'Doublethink' features in Nineteen Eighty-Four and it is the forerunner to 'Fake News'. He foresaw the creation of the EU and more significantly he predicted that post-Imperial xenophobia would cause Britain to leave it. His struggle with his own antisemitism could serve as a lesson to today's Labour Party and while the Soviet Union is gone, China has taken its place as a totalitarian superpower.
Aside from his importance as a political theorist and novelist, Orwell's life is fascinating in its own right. Caught between uncertainty and his family's upper middle-class complacency, Orwell grew to despise the class system that spawned him despite finding himself unable to fully detach himself from it. His life thereafter mirrored the history of his country; like many from his background he devoted himself to socialism as a salve to his conscience. In truth he reserved as much suspicion and distaste for the 'proles' as he did pity. He died at the point when Britain's status as an Imperial and world power had waned but his work remains both prescient and significant.
Orwell: A Man of Our Time offers a vivid portrait of the man behind the writings, and places him and his work at the centre of the current political landscape. As one of the most enduringly popular and controversial novelists of the last century, the 70th anniversary of George Orwell's death in 2020 will certainly be marked by conferences, festivals and media events - but more significant than these acts of commemoration is his relevance today.
Shortlisted for the PEN Ackerley Prize 2018.
This is a memoir of intense physical and personal experience, exploring how swimming with seals, gulls and orcas in the cold waters off Orkney provided Victoria Whitworth with an escape from a series of life crises and helped her to deal with intolerable loss.
It is also a treasure chest of history and myth, local folklore and archaeological clues, giving us tantalising glimpses of Pictish and Viking men and women, those people lost to history, whose long-hidden secrets are sometimes yielded up by the land and sea.
At age forty, with two growing children and a new consulting company she’d recently founded, Gretchen Cherington, daughter of Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Richard Eberhart, faced a dilemma: Should she protect her parents’ well-crafted family myths while continuing to silence her own voice? Or was it time to challenge those myths and speak her truth—even the unbearable truth that her generous and kind father had sexually violated her?
In this powerful memoir, aided by her father’s extensive archives at Dartmouth College and interviews with some of her father’s best friends, Cherington candidly and courageously retraces her past to make sense of her father and herself. From the women’s movement of the ’60s and the back-to-the-land movement of the ’70s to Cherington’s consulting work through three decades with powerful executives to her eventual decision to speak publicly in the formative months of #MeToo, Poetic License is one woman’s story of speaking truth in a world where, too often, men still call the shots.
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