Cover art for From the Ashes

From the Ashes

717 ratings


Winner, Kobo Emerging Writer Prize Nonfiction Winner, Indigenous Voices Awards Winner, High Plains Book Awards Finalist, CBC Canada Reads A Globe and Mail Book of the Year An Indigo Book of the Year A CBC Best Canadian Nonfiction Book of the Year   In this extraordinary and inspiring debut memoir, Jesse Thistle, once a high-school dropout and now a rising Indigenous scholar, chronicles his life on the streets and how he overcame trauma and addiction to discover the truth about who he is. If I can just make it to the next minute...then I might have a chance to live; I might have a chance to be something more than just a struggling crackhead. From the Ashes is a remarkable memoir about hope and resilience and a revelatory look into the life of a Métis Cree man who refused to give up. Abandoned by his parents as a toddler, Jesse Thistle briefly found himself in the foster-care system with his two brothers, cut off from all they had known. Eventually, the children landed in the home of their paternal grandparents, whose tough-love attitudes quickly resulted in conflicts. Throughout it all, the ghost of Jesse’s drug-addicted father haunted the halls of the house and the memories of every family member. Struggling with all that had happened, Jesse succumbed to a self-destructive cycle of drug and alcohol addiction and petty crime, spending more than a decade on and off the streets, often homeless. Finally, he realized he would die unless he turned his life around. In this heart-warming and heart-wrenching memoir, Jesse Thistle writes honestly and fearlessly about his painful past, the abuse he endured, and how he uncovered the truth about his parents. Through sheer perseverance and education - and newfound love - he found his way back into the circle of his Indigenous culture and family. An eloquent exploration of the impact of prejudice and racism, From the Ashes is, in the end, about how love and support can help us find happiness despite the odds.

©2019 Jesse Thistle (P)2019 Simon & Schuster Audio

Length: 9 hrs and 55 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Climbing the Mango Trees: A Memoir of a Childhood in India

Climbing the Mango Trees: A Memoir of a Childhood in India


Madhur (meaning sweet as honey) Jaffrey grew up in a large family compound by the Yamuna River in Delhi, where her grandfather often presided over dinners with 40 or more members of his extended family savoring together the wonderfully flavorful dishes that were forever imprinted on Madhur's palate. Whether climbing the mango trees in her grandparents' orchard, armed with a mixture of salt, pepper, ground red chilies, and roasted cumin, or picnicking in the Himalayan foothills on meatballs stuffed with raisins and mint, tucked into freshly baked spiced pooris, the tastes and textures of those childhood pleasures bring back memories of growing up. Independent-minded, sensitive, and ever curious, Madhur as a child explored the history of her family and was deeply affected by their personal trials. Despite obstacles that her schooling imposed and an insecure adolescence, she emerged well educated and gifted in the arts, ready to explore new territory as the world she had known crumbled around her. Climbing the Mango Trees is both an enormously appealing account of an unusual childhood and a testament to the power of food in our lives to evoke memory. Although by the time it ends, when Madhur leaves India, she had never cooked a meal, it was that longing to taste again the flavors of her childhood that drove her into the kitchen - to become eventually the internationally acclaimed food writer that she is today.

©2005, 2006 Madhur Jaffrey (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

Length: 7 hrs and 13 mins
Available on Audible