“My story was maltreated. The words were too wrong and ugly to speak.” So begins Mailhot’s memoir of her upbringing on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation. In words too harrowing and beautiful to be repressed, Mailhot, whose work has appeared in publications including The Rumpus, The Los Angeles Times, and The Offing,recounts her experiences with her father, who was both a talented artist and an abusive alcoholic; recalls her mother, a social worker and activist with a weakness for prisoners; and relives her struggle with both PTSD and bipolar II disorder. Above all, Mailhot’s story is a testament to the sheer life-sustaining power of storytelling itself; she credits writing with having saved her life. Mailhot will be in conversation with Nicole Chung, managing web editor of Catapult and former managing editor ofThe Toast.