Must-Listen Audiobooks by Native American Authors
7 Must-Listen Audiobooks by Native American Authors

November is Native American Heritage Month, and we’re queuing up must-listen audiobooks written by Indigenous authors in the United States and Canada. From full-cast productions to author-reads, browse our recommendations and listen to clips of literary fiction, immersive memoir, sweeping narrative non-fiction, and poetry.

Given up for adoption as an infant, Ruby is raised by a white couple who understand little of her Indigenous heritage. This is the great mystery that hovers over Ruby’s life—who her people are and how to reconcile what is missing. Probably Ruby is a dazzling novel about a bold, unapologetic woman taking control of her life and story, and marks the debut of a major new voice in Indigenous fiction.

“Dakota Ray-Hebert’s voice encapsulates Ruby with a tough edge, a big laugh, an occasional sneer, and underlying grief.”—AudioFile

A New York Times bestseller. A full audio cast brings Tommy Orange’s critically acclaimed novel There There to life. This is the “brilliant, propulsive” (People Magazine) story of twelve unforgettable characters, Urban Indians living in Oakland, California, who converge and collide on one fateful day.

“The ensemble cast of narrators does an impressive job of creating distinctive, emotionally resonant characterizations of all 12 protagonists…Of particular note are the voices of Cuervo as Jacquie Redfeather and Kyla Garcia as Jacquie’s sister, Opal. A beautiful performance of a stunning new voice in fiction.”—Booklist

Author: Toni Jensen
Read By: Toni Jensen

A New York Times Editors’ Choice. Carry is a powerful, poetic memoir about what it means to exist as an Indigenous woman in America, told in snapshots of the author’s encounters with gun violence.

“In Carry, Jensen scours language to find a new way of writing about how historical injustices seep into the present…With a controlled voice like a Philip Glass composition, smooth, meandering yet repetitive, Jensen considers her troubled past and begins the work of stitching herself back together…An unsettling account that creeps into your bones.”—The New York Times Book Review

In The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee, Treuer melds history with reportage and memoir to create a sweeping history—and counter-narrative—of Native American life from the Wounded Knee massacre to the present.

“Listeners, especially those familiar with the massacre at Wounded Knee, should make time for this history. Treuer’s work is deeply researched, positioning the listener within the histories and first-person accounts of indigenous people of North America and making their experiences and views central to the listening experience…The result is an audiobook that seeks to greatly expand the public’s general knowledge of Native American history. From the history of fraudulent government treaties to the brutality of the Gold Rush, listeners are provided uncompromising accounts of the oppression and violence tribes have experienced.”—AudioFile

Renowned poet Heid E. Erdrich’s Little Big Bully begins with a question: how did we come to this? In answer, this audiobook offers personal myth, American and Native American contexts, and allegories driven by women’s resistance. In a collection that is “a force of nature” (Amy Gerstler), Heid E. Erdrich applies her rich inventive voice and fierce wit to the effects of harassment and oppression.

“Heid E. Erdrich is of German and Ojibwe heritage. Both parts of her background get voices—along with the connections and conflicts between them—in this audio collection of her poetry.”—AudioFile

What does it mean if a hawk appears in a dream? Spirits of the Earth is an extraordinary compilation of legends and rituals about nature’s ever-present signs. From the birds that soar above us to the insects beneath our feet, Native American healer Bobby Lake-Thom shows how the creatures of the earth can aid us in healing and self-knowledge in this audiobook that’s the first of its kind.

A beautiful, disquieting novel about a young man living on the Fort Belknap Reservation in Montana. Sensitive and self-destructive, he searches for something that will bind him to the lands of his ancestors but is haunted by personal tragedy, the dissolution of his heritage, and Montana’s vast emptiness. Winter in the Blood is an unforgettable work of literature that will continue to move and inspire anyone who encounters it.

“Darrell Dennis captures the angst of the unnamed narrator in this classic novel…He adroitly shifts between the flat dialogue of ranch life and the lyricism of the Western setting. Likewise, he captures the cadences of a trio of secondary characters…Most of all, Dennis’s empathetic delivery subtly reveals the main character and his solitary situation.”—AudioFile, Earphones Award Winner

Looking for audiobooks for kids and teens that uplift Native American Heritage? Click here to find our recommendations.