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Future Home of the Living God
288 pages; Harper
Like Margaret Atwood, Erdrich is a seer, a visionary whose politics are inextricable from her fiction. Her latest book 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. Here, climate change has fundamentally modified our planet and its species. Creatures that don't belong in suburban backyards pop up there. Most women have been rendered infertile, and those who do manage to conceive are being rounded up and incarcerated. The story's heroine, 26-year-old Cedar Hawk Songmaker, is four months pregnant and therefore in great danger. Her white adoptive parents and the Ojibwe family she's recently connected with are her only hope to evade capture. In this dystopia, misogyny, greed, and religious zealotry combine to undermine not just a woman's safety but a society's freedom. Yet even under these dire circumstances, the human spirit still burns, incandescent.