From the Ashes: My Story of Being Métis, Homeless, and Finding My Way

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Simon and Schuster, Aug 6, 2019 - Biography & Autobiography - 368 pages
#1 National Bestseller
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 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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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - LynnB - LibraryThing

This autobiography is one of the Canada Reads contenders for 2020. It tells the story of Jesse Thistle, a Metis child born into a dysfunctional family -- the father is an addict and abuses the mother ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - vancouverdeb - LibraryThing

A fascinating and sad, but ultimately redemptive, read abouta Metis /Cree child and his journey into adulthood. It's one of five Canada Reads Contenders. This is an autobiography. Jesse is born into a ... Read full review

Contents

Indigenous Affairs
1
A Little Boys Dream
7
Trash Pandas
23
Monster Rescue
38
Touch of Home
44
Leeroy and the Brown Pop
51
Supremacy
66
Not a Picture in Sight
72
Never the Same
169
Suburban Wastelands
178
Caught Up
190
Aftermath
208
A Bottle Full of Pills
216
The King of Somalia
226
Bibles Behind Bars
257
The Messenger
276

My Fabricated Persona
81
The Most Important Thing
88
A New Family
111
Troublemaker
125
Premonition
136
Opening Up
143
Banana Split
151
Windigo
157
End of a Friendship
165
The Meaning Is Gone
285
Dawn of the Bronze Age
295
A Plain Piece of Paper
304
Follow Your Dreams
318
Sixteen Letters
335
Epilogue
343
Missing Person
351
Copyright

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About the author (2019)

Jesse Thistle is Métis-Cree, from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. He is an assistant professor in Métis Studies at York University in Toronto. He won a Governor General’s Academic Medal in 2016, and is a Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation Scholar and a Vanier Scholar. He lives in Toronto. Visit him on Twitter @MichifMan

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