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From the ashes - Jesse Thistle

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From the ashes - my story of being Mtis, homeless, and finding my way
Jesse Thistle
Paperback / softback
Simon & Schuster
UK Publication Date

*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 Mtis-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 heartwarming 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.

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Jesse Thistle isMtis-Cree, from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, and an assistant professor in Humanitiesat York University in Toronto.From the Asheswas the top-selling Canadian book in 2020, the winner of theKoboEmerging Writer Prize forNonfiction, Indigenous Voices Award, and High Plains Book Award, and also a finalist for CBC Canada Reads. Jesse won a GovernorGeneral'sAcademic Medal in 2016, and is a Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation Scholar and aVanierScholar. A frequent keynote speaker, he lives in Hamilton, Ontario, with his wife, Lucie, and is at work on multiple projects, including his next book. Visit him

"A heartbreaking and honest debut."The Globe and Mail

"Blown away by [this] eloquent memoir of Mtis life and surviving the streets . . . [a] strong contender for #CanadaReads."
- EMMA DONOGHUE, New York Times bestselling author of Room

"A memoir of resilience, spirit, and dignity from a gifted storyteller. It is, at heart, also about the many shapes that love can inhabit. When you plan to read this book, clear your schedule. It will hold you in its grasp and won't let you go, like a great novel. It's all the more remarkable that this is not fiction. This book will stand out in my reading experience for a long time to come."
-SHELAGH ROGERS, OC, host and a producer of CBC Radio's The Next Chapter, and honorary witness for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada

"So fortunate to have the opportunity to read From The Ashes. . . .You'll be drawn into the life journey of someone who's struggled so deep yet has risen up to share with us what it means to be human. A deeply moving read."
- CLARA HUGHES, Olympian and author ofOpen Heart, Open Mind

"This memoir haunts, gnawing at the soul as we walk with Jesse through his many incarnations. . . . If you want a glimpse at why some of our brothers and sisters end up on the streets, read this book."
- TANYA TALAGA, The Walrus

"In spare and often brutal prose . . . Thistle weaves a narrative punctuated with joy and comedy and ultimately redemption."
- Toronto Star

"Anilluminating, inside account of homelessness, a study of survival and freedom. Jesse Thistle delivers a painfully lyrical book, a journey through the torrents of addiction and trauma, masterfully sliding in humour and moments of heart-expanding human connection. I found myself gasping out loud at parts, unable to put the book down. Jesse's story shows us that there is nothing that cannot be transformed."
- AMANDA LINDHOUT, bestselling co-author ofA House in the Sky

"A powerful and personal memoir."

"In this page-turner of a memoir-raw, honest, gripping, wrenching, and inspiring-Jesse Thistle gifts us with an intimate and bracing look into the realities, traumas, and triumphs of Indigenous life in today's North America."
-GABOR MAT, MD, bestselling author of In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction

"A gritty memoir recounting the devastating long-term effects of childhood abandonment. . . . The theme of estrangement is powerfully portrayed in what is ultimately a story of courage and resilience certain to strike a chord with readers from many backgrounds."
- Library Journal

"Candid and cutting, Jesse Thistle lays down his story with a brutal beauty you'll never forget.From the Ashesis a guided tour through a broken heart just trying to keep beating, both failing and succeeding spectacularly."
- CHERIE DIMALINE, bestselling author ofThe Marrow Thieves

"Jesse's story is shocking, intriguing, and compelling. He goes deep into the conflicting forces pulling him in different directions, the pain of knowing how he was letting down his grandmother, the terrifying sickness of addiction, and his own uncertainty about how to break the cycle. All the decks were stacked against him, yet he did learn to make the right choices. He had every right to blame 'the system,' but he never resorted to that easy strategy. His unexpected strength is remarkable."
-CHARLOTTE GRAY, award-winning biographer and bestselling author of The Promise of Canada

Keyword Index
Mtis - Canada - Biography.|Cree Indians - Canada - Biography.|Addicts - Canada - Biography.|Homeless persons - Canada - Biography.
Country of Publication
New York (State)
Number of Pages

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