Louise Erdrich, Future Home of the Living God
Erdrich’s recent award-winning trilogy (The Round House, The Plague of Doves, LaRose) explored concepts of justice in lyrical prose. In a startling shift, she now turns to dystopian fiction. She creates a nightmarish regressive world in which evolution reverses, leading to ladybirds the size of cats, lizard-birds and stillborn babies. Panic in the human world triggers chaos, and a government round-up of pregnant women. Young Cedar Hawk Songmaker, four months’ pregnant, is soon on the run, with help from her adoptive parents, her Ojibwe birth mother and family, and the baby’s father. Erdrich pulls the net tight with surveillance, torture-induced betrayals, and hair-raising escapes. There are echoes here of The Handmaid’s Tale, but this nightmare is Erdrich’s own. “It is the future that haunts us now,” she writes.