In the United States, November marks Native American Heritage Month, celebrating the people on whose lands many of us now live. In addition to supporting Indigenous businesses and artists, non-Indigenous people can listen to and share Indigenous literature, whether at independent bookstores (preferably Indigenous owned) or by requesting the books from your public library. If you’re looking for more audiobooks for your TBR listening to, here are some great titles!
Dog flowers: a memory by Danielle Geller, narrated by Charley Flyte
Danielle Geller returns to her mother’s Navajo reservation in hopes of learning more about her mother’s story. After her mother died, Geller found suitcases of her mother’s belongings, each containing treasures her mother had kept for years. These objects guide Geller along the routes taken by her mother, eventually leading her to her childhood home. Charley Flyte performs the audiobook beautifully, capturing the deep emotion of Geller’s prose.
From the Ashes: My story of being mixed race, homeless and finding my way by Jesse Thistle, reported by the author
After the death of his parents, Thistle and his siblings spend time in the Canadian foster care system before finding their way back to their grandparents’ home. But the love and security that Thistle longed for could not be found there either, as the memory of his father haunted the house. The author interprets the audiobook with such care and attention, making Thistle appear to be speaking directly to you as you cling to every word.
The Deleted by Brandon Hobson, narrated by Gary Farmer, Shaun Taylor-Corbett, DeLanna Studi, Katie Rich, Christopher Salazar
A family reunites for Cherokee National Day after the death of their teenage son, Ray-Ray. Each family member carries their own secrets and burdens with them until the gathering, and as they gaze at the bonfire, they each sense that the line between their reality and the spirit world begins to thin out. Inspired by Cherokee folklore, The Deleted is a family novel about grief and the burden a family carries after a tragedy.
Peyakow: Reclaiming Cree Dignity by Darrel J. McLeod, narrated by William C. Wanzi, Wikcemna Yamni ake
In this follow-up to his critically acclaimed memoir Mamaskatch, McLeod returns with Peyakow, who continues his story through adulthood as he searches for his place after a tumultuous childhood and adolescence. Slowly he becomes more sure of who he is as a queer Cree man. William C. Wikcemna Yamni ake Wanzi returns to continue telling McLeod’s story, playing with the same care and emotional depth that he brought to the audio edition of Mamaskatch.
Why Indigenous Literatures Are Important by Daniel Heath Justice, commented by the author
Perfect for listeners wishing to delve deeper into Indigenous literatures, Why Indigenous Literatures Are Important discusses the importance for Indigenous writers to tell their own stories. Heath shares some of the key elements and common themes of Indigenous writing, listing the text and key authors. The author narrates the audiobook, giving voice to his writing in a way that makes you feel like you are sitting in a classroom listening to an engaging lecture.
Postcolonial love poems by Natalie Diaz, commented by the author
There is really something special when a poet reads his own works in audio, and Postcolonial love poem is no exception. Diaz focuses on themes around the bodies and experiences of Indigenous, Black and Latinx peoples as they move through a country founded on the principles of colonization. Listening to Diaz read these poems evokes the imagery of his poems, creating distinct impressions as listeners move through the collection.
Bad Indians: a tribal memory by Deborah A. Miranda, commented by the author
In his memories Bad Indians, Deborah A. Miranda, Registered Member of the Ohlone Costanoan Esselen Nation of California, shares her experience and the stories of other members of her Indigenous Nation. Miranda weaves insights into the history of her community and its connection to identity, especially her own as an Indigenous in the face of continued colonization. She narrates audio editing, giving this memoir an extra personal touch.
For even more Indigenous book recommendations, check out “7 Audiobooks for Indigenous Heritage Month,” “6 Audiobooks by Indigenous, First Nations or Indigenous Authors,” and “8 Indigenous Memoirs on Book Club Audio. Erin and Dani. “