Books·Canada Reads 2020

Jesse Thistle

Jesse Thistle is the author of From the Ashes.

Author of From the Ashes, defended by George Canyon

Jesse Thistle is the author of From the Ashes. (Lucie Thistle)

George Canyon is defending From the Ashes by Jesse Thistle on Canada Reads 2020.

The debates will take place March 16-19, 2020 and will be hosted by Ali Hassan. They will be broadcast on CBC Radio OneCBC TVCBC Gem and on CBC Books

About Jesse Thistle

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. 

From the Ashes is his first book.

Why Jesse Thistle wrote From the Ashes

"If you look through the book, you'll see flashes of light every time I was traumatized. The way that my mind works, it's like looking through a shard of broken glass, with all the different light fragments. I can only capture them in one- and two-page memories because they either score my soul and I bleed too much or I can't remember because my mind blocks it out.

It was painful, but it was also very beautiful. These were really hard, painful, sharp memories.- Jesse Thistle

"It was painful, but it was also very beautiful. These were really hard, painful, sharp memories. But I also saw there were people that were trying to help me, like the kind shop owner who gave me food or my friend at the shelter who watched out for my shoes. My brother Jerry always took care of me and took me in and I had a lot of support from my wife, Lucie. It's the good and the bad."

Read more in his interview with CBC Books.

Interviews with Jesse Thistle

Author and scholar Jesse Thistle published an official definition of Indigenous homelessness in Canada after living it. 6:48
Confronting Métis trauma: Jesse Thistle's story 1:02
Jesse Thistle talks to Shelagh Rogers about his best selling memoir, From the Ashes: My Story of Being Métis, Homeless, and Finding My Way. 16:27
By reconnecting with his birth mother PhD student Jesse Thistle came to understand the effects of intergenerational trauma. His award-winning research shines a light on the struggles and the resilience of Métis communities in northern Saskatchewan. 53:59
Once homeless and addicted, Jesse Thistle went from living on the streets to becoming Canada's leading scholar on Indigenous homelessness. 9:33
Metis-Cree author and professor Jesse Thistle wrote a memoir of his childhood in the form of simple snapshots -- to show the results of a destructive system from a child's point of view. 8:05

The Canada Reads 2020 contenders


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