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Author Biography

Author Biography

“This book is dedicated to the concept of hope, the kind of hope my parents never knew existed. This is my story of mental and physical abuse, slavery, sorrow and love . . . and ultimately, the victory of understanding.”

—Dedication, The Ashes of Innocence


No life is easy. No life is a straight line. But how you approach the hardships that inevitably arise during the course of a lifetime is what develops both individual character and the stamina to stay within the eye of the storm. The life of Alexandra Tesluk has seen great pain and great challenge. Even now, in the past year, since the publication of The Ashes of Innocence, she has been sent yet another life challenge, undergoing treatment for leukemia.

Born in a camp in war-torn Europe, suffering the separation from her father, and the emotional abandonment of an indifferent mother, Alexandra suffered great loss and trials, including suicide, sexual abuse and emotional betrayals. There was little comfort or joy in her formative years as the barriers between her, a refugee in Canada, and her peers were great with little common ground and she suffered an isolating childhood, longing for stability and security she imagined available to Canadian children.

With little education, leaving an abusive husband to raise a child alone, Alexandra overcame these obstacles to become a successful businesswoman and loving mother and wife. Striving to gain clarity and peace and to write her way into forgiveness, The Ashes of Innocence is the intimate and miraculous story of a woman overcoming and surviving—and the story continues as she writes about her current experiences with cancer.

The most oft repeated comment about The Ashes of Innocence from readers, is that you cannot put it down, and that it has a conversational narrative style which invites the reader to participate and recognize their own strengths. It is, in that true sense, inspiring—Abigail Thomas, the author of Thinking About Memoir, suggests that “writing memoir is a way to figure out who you used to be and how you got to be who you are … The writer of memoir makes a pact with her reader that what she writes is the truth as best she can tell it. But the original pact, the real deal, is with herself. Be honest, dig deep, or don’t bother.”

Alexandra Tesluk, by writing The Ashes of Innocence, has been true to that pact.