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The Resource Future home of the living god : a novel, Louise Erdrich

Future home of the living god : a novel, Louise Erdrich

Label
Future home of the living god : a novel
Title
Future home of the living god
Title remainder
a novel
Statement of responsibility
Louise Erdrich
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
A tale set in a world of reversing evolution and a growing police state follows pregnant thirty-two-year-old Cedar Hawk Songmaker, who investigates her biological family while awaiting the birth of a child who may emerge as a member of a primitive human species
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Character
Award
  • Booklist Editors' Choice, 2017.
  • LibraryReads Favorites, 2017.
  • New York Times Notable Book, 2017
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ Cedar Hawk Songmaker, the adopted Native American daughter of two white “Minnesota liberals,” is secretly pregnant when she discovers that her birth name is Mary Potts. With this slash of wry cultural irony, Erdrich (LaRose, 2016) launches a breakout work of speculative fiction in which a sudden reversal of evolution is underway, threatening the future of humankind and life itself. The disintegrating, increasingly fascist and evangelical government is rounding up and incarcerating pregnant women, so Cedar heads to her Ojibwe birth mother’s reservation. But no place is safe and she is soon on the run. Throughout her harrowing, often darkly funny ordeal, she keeps a journal for her child—whom she knows she has little chance of raising—recounting, with exceptional sensory and psychological precision, the horrors of her predicament, the wild courage of the underground network helping fugitive mothers-to-be, and, in stark contrast to the violent chaos, the miraculous growth of her fetus.In this feverish cautionary tale, Erdrich enters the realm of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale (1985), Emily Schultz’s The Blondes (2015), Edan Lepucki’s California (2014), Laura van den Berg’s Find Me (2015), and Claire Vaye Watkins’ Gold, Fame, Citrus (2015), infusing her masterful, full-tilt dystopian novel with stinging insights into the endless repercussions of the Native American genocide, hijacked spirituality, and the ongoing war against women’s rights. A tornadic, suspenseful, profoundly provoking novel of life’s vulnerability and insistence. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Erdrich’s devoted readers will flock, of course, but so will a wider audience attracted by the bold apocalyptic theme, searing social critique, and high-adrenaline action. -- Seaman, Donna (Reviewed 9/1/2017) (Booklist, vol 114, number 1, p44)
  • Future Home of the Living God explores the possibility of evolution reversing and is told from the perspective of a pregnant woman who is writing a journal to her unborn child. Along the way we meet her adoptive parents, her birth mother, and she reports on society unraveling and detaining pregnant women. Erdrich provides compelling characters and a strong storyline about a near future in this piece of innovative dystopian fiction. -- Ian Stade, Hennepin County Library, Minneapolis, MN. (LibraryReads, November 2017)
  • Set in Minnesota in a dystopian future in which evolution is going haywire, much of this startling new work of speculative fiction by Erdrich (LaRose) takes the form of a diary by pregnant Cedar Hawk Songmaker addressed to her unborn child. Happily raised and well-educated by her adopted parents Sera and Glen Songmaker, Cedar decides nevertheless to visit her Ojibwe birth family on the rez up north. But times are strange: “our world is running backward. Or forward. Or maybe sideways.” Flora and fauna are taking on prehistoric characteristics, and there is talk of viruses. It isn’t long before pregnant women are being rounded up. Cedar meets up again with her baby’s father, Phil, and for a while she hides with him. But eventually she is caught by the authorities, who reveal nothing about what is happening. A hospital incarceration, escape, violence, and murder ensue as Cedar and other pregnant women she meets along the way—helped by the valiant Sera, Cedar’s adoptive mother—will do anything to protect themselves and their babies. Erdrich’s characters are brave and conscientious, but none of them really come across as people; they act mostly as vehicles for Erdrich’s ideas. Those ideas, however—reproductive freedom, for one, and faith in and respect for the natural world—are strikingly relevant. Erdrich has written a cautionary tale for this very moment in time. (Nov.) --Staff (Reviewed 09/25/2017) (Publishers Weekly, vol 264, issue 39, p)
  • Born on an Ojibwe reservation, Cedar Songmaker was adopted by Sera and Glen, an ultraliberal couple who made sure Cedar never forgot her tribal roots. Now 26, single, and pregnant, Cedar is living in a dystopian future, where a biological calamity appears to be reversing evolution. To tamp down panic, cable and telecommunications companies have been seized. Many women are dying in childbirth, their babies not viable. An ultrasound indicates that Cedar's child might be perfect, which sets her on the run from laws that call for rounding up and incarcerating mothers-to-be until delivery. Whom can she trust? Phil, the father of her child; her tribal family, who could spirit her to Canada; her adoptive parents, who have disappeared? In a narrative that is propulsive, wry, and keenly observant, Cedar records her fears in a diary for her unborn baby. Though Erdrich (Round House; LaRose) struggles to wrap up these observances in a single, cohesive message, she unpacks a Pandora's box of contemporary thematic threads, including environmental devastation, religious intolerance, censorship, and government overreach of women's reproductive rights. VERDICT Quite different from Erdrich's previous work, this chilling speculative fiction is perfect for readers seeking the next Handmaid's Tale. [See Prepub Alert, 5/8/17.]—Sally Bissell, formerly with Lee Cty. Lib. Syst., Fort Myers, FL --Sally Bissell (Reviewed 09/15/2017) (Library Journal, vol 142, issue 15, p64)
  • /* Starred Review */ The idea that evolution could suddenly move backward may seem like an incredible fantasy, but in this dreamlike, suspenseful novel, it's a fitting analogue for the environmental degradation we already experience. A biological apocalypse has animals suddenly appearing in trippy, shocking manifestations—a dragonfly with a 6-foot wingspan, "golden-green eyes the size of softballs," for example. Humans aren't immune to "life dissolving into its mineral components," which is why the new American government, the Church of the New Constitution, expands the original intent of the Patriot Act and requires all pregnant women to report to birthing centers. During a biological apocalypse set two months in the future, when the borders between Mexico and Canada are sealed off, Cedar Hawk Songmaker—26, pregnant, and with a burning independent streak—eventually learns why the government will do anything to ensure she has her baby under strict surveillance. Not all the pregnant women are as useful to the authorities as Cedar is, because they think she has a rare "normal," unaltered fetus in her womb. Born Ojibwe but adopted by earnest white liberals in Minneapolis, Cedar is a flinty, determined, spiritual woman whose hesitance to trust others comes in handy in a world where suddenly no one should be trusted. And Cedar has three worlds to navigate: the one she was raised in and the Ojibwe family she is just coming to know, not to mention a United States ruled by a religious government in which a creepy, all-seeing, robotic figure named Mother hunts for Cedar. Framed as a letter to Cedar's unborn child, this novel is bracing, humane, dedicated to witnessing the plight of women in a cruel universe, and full of profound spiritual questions and observations. Like some of Erdrich's (LaRose, 2016, etc.) earlier work, it shifts adroitly in time and has a thoughtful, almost mournful insight into life on a Native reservation. If Erdrich hasn't previously ventured into tropes normally employed by sci-fi writers, she doesn't show the inexperience here. There is much to rue in this novel about our world but also hope for salvation: "I think we have survived because we love beauty and because we find each other beautiful," as the novel's protagonist puts it. "I think it may be our strongest quality." (Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2017)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10578947
Cataloging source
YDX
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Erdrich, Louise
Index
no index present
LC call number
PS
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Pregnant women
  • Adoptees
  • Ojibwa Indians
  • Dystopias
Label
Future home of the living god : a novel, Louise Erdrich
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
24 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
269 pages
Isbn
9780062694058
Media category
  • still image
  • unmediated
Media MARC source
  • rdacontent
  • rdamedia
Media type code
  • sti
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)973145841
Label
Future home of the living god : a novel, Louise Erdrich
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
24 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
269 pages
Isbn
9780062694058
Media category
  • still image
  • unmediated
Media MARC source
  • rdacontent
  • rdamedia
Media type code
  • sti
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)973145841

Library Locations

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      85 Literary Lane, Newnan, GA, 30265, US
      33.38561 -84.669793
    • A. Mitchell Powell Jr. BranchBorrow it
      25 Hospital Road, Newnan, GA, 30263, US
      33.387732 -84.816797

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