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Future Home of the Living God: A Novel Paperback – November 13, 2018
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A New York Times Notable Book
Louise Erdrich, the New York Times bestselling, National Book Award-winning author of LaRose and The Round House, paints a startling portrait of a young woman fighting for her life and her unborn child against oppressive forces that manifest in the wake of a cataclysmic event.
The world as we know it is ending. Evolution has reversed itself, affecting every living creature on earth. Science cannot stop the world from running backwards, as woman after woman gives birth to infants that appear to be primitive species of humans. Twenty-six-year-old Cedar Hawk Songmaker, adopted daughter of a pair of big-hearted, open-minded Minneapolis liberals, is as disturbed and uncertain as the rest of America around her. But for Cedar, this change is profound and deeply personal. She is four months pregnant.
Though she wants to tell the adoptive parents who raised her from infancy, Cedar first feels compelled to find her birth mother, Mary Potts, an Ojibwe living on the reservation, to understand both her and her baby’s origins. As Cedar goes back to her own biological beginnings, society around her begins to disintegrate, fueled by a swelling panic about the end of humanity.
There are rumors of martial law, of Congress confining pregnant women. Of a registry, and rewards for those who turn these wanted women in. Flickering through the chaos are signs of increasing repression: a shaken Cedar witnesses a family wrenched apart when police violently drag a mother from her husband and child in a parking lot. The streets of her neighborhood have been renamed with Bible verses. A stranger answers the phone when she calls her adoptive parents, who have vanished without a trace. It will take all Cedar has to avoid the prying eyes of potential informants and keep her baby safe.
A chilling dystopian novel both provocative and prescient, Future Home of the Living God is a startlingly original work from one of our most acclaimed writers: a moving meditation on female agency, self-determination, biology, and natural rights that speaks to the troubling changes of our time.
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“A streamlined dystopian thriller…Erdrich’s tense and lyrical new work of speculative fiction stands shoulder-to-braced-shoulder right alongside The Handmaid’s Tale.” -- Maureen Corrigan, NPR’s Fresh Air
“Erdrich stuns again in Future Home of The Living God…She grounds her story in a kind of sharply drawn reality that makes the standard tropes of dark futurism that much more unnerving…Erdrich is a writer whose words carry a spiritual weight far beyond science, or fiction.” -- Entertainment Weekly
“Erdrich is a seer, a visionary whose politics are inextricable from her fiction…[Future Home of the Living God] is an eerie masterpiece, a novel so prescient that though it conjures an alternate reality, it often provokes the feeling that, yes this is really happening.” -- O, The Oprah Magazine
“In this fast-paced novel, rapid and catastrophic changes to human reproduction make the survival of the race uncertain…Erdrich imagines an America in which winter is a casualty of climate change, borders are sealed, men are ‘militantly insecure,’ and women’s freedom is evaporating…Vivid…Compelling.” -- New Yorker
“Smart and thrilling…the book reads like an alternate history of our anxious current moment…Erdrich’s storytelling is seductive.” -- Vanity Fair
“A fascinating new novel, which describes a world where evolution is running backward and the future of civilization is in doubt.” -- New York Times Book Review
“Philosophical yet propulsive…Future Home of the Living God is as much a thriller as it is a religious-themed literary novel — it thrives on narrow escapes, surprise character appearances, and a perpetual sense of peril…effective and cannily imagined.” -- USA Today
“We recognize…the same miasma of anxiety and unease that Americans now breathe. This is fiction, of course; the details are not from our world. But the sensation is…Vivid and suspenseful…Once Cedar is imprisoned, the story turns thrilling.” -- Boston Globe
“Masterful…a breakout work of speculative fiction…Erdrich enters the realm of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale…A tornadic, suspenseful, profoundly provoking novel of life’s vulnerability and insistence…with a bold apocalyptic theme, searing social critique, and high-adrenaline action.” -- Booklist, Starred Review
From the Back Cover
Evolution stops as mysteriously as it began. Pregnancy and childbearing quickly become issues of state security. Twenty-six-year-old Cedar, the adopted daughter of idealistic Minneapolis liberals, is as disturbed and uncertain as the rest of America. But for Cedar, this change is profound and deeply personal. She is four months pregnant.
As Cedar travels north to find her Ojibwe family, ordinary life begins to disintegrate. Swelling panic creates warring government, corporate, and religious factions. In a mall parking lot, Cedar witnesses a pregnant woman wrenched from her family under a new law. As she evades capture, Cedar also experiences a fraught love with her baby’s father, who tries to hide her.
An unexpected thriller from a writer of startling originality, Future Home of the Living God is also a moving meditation on female agency, love, self-determination, biology, and natural rights.
- Publisher : Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (November 13, 2018)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 288 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0062694065
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062694065
- Lexile measure : HL820L
- Item Weight : 7.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.31 x 0.65 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #38,637 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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At an earlier time the evil envisioned by dystopias featured the work of an authoritarian regime. And while that exists here, the world lapses into chaos, created in part by questions a regime (it is intentionally unclear who that regime is – as if the curtain was pulled back to reveal a Wizard ill-prepared for the responsibilities of his power) designed to exploit but without any ability to create.
For readers familiar with Erdrich's look into the colonial mindset and her critique of the idea we've ever become post-colonial there will be some familiar themes -- but explored in a new way.
Top reviews from other countries
Quite of feminine perspective. The roles of the male characters other than Eddy were a little disappointing.
I was left feeling disturbed, pondering over possible turns of story during the night, wishing for a different ending.
A warning: far too frightening read für pregnant women…. I could imagine this story a TV Series if the ending would be slightly different leaving room for a more positive future development. Or maybe I just can't imagine it.