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Future Home of the Living God: A Novel Hardcover – November 14, 2017
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“Erdrich’s inclusiveness, her expansive vision of humanity surprises and pleases on every page…Erdrich’s virtuosity reminds me of an eagle in flight…Her wisdom blossoms from multicultural sources and is always inviting the reader in, in, to deeper understanding and identity.” (Hudson Review)
“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 dystopian 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.
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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.
The book is wonderfully written. The characters are so alive and gutsy, and the constant suspense made me keep turning pages until the very end.