Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich
, Future Home of the Living God
As Cedar Hawk Songmaker travels north to meet her Ojibwe birth-parents, the world around her descends into crisis. Evolution has somehow reversed, and women’s bodies are deemed a threat to the political and social system. A portrayal of environmental crisis, both a feminist dystopia and a striking novel of the Anthropocene, Louise Erdrich’s 16th novel may not be her best, but it is gripping and often startling, especially in its explorations of maternity and maternal love.
Written in the form of a diary to Cedar’s unborn child, it is “a record and an inquiry into the strangeness of things”. At times the world Erdrich paints is not fully realised – it is sometimes confused, rather than just confusing – and often the progressions of the regime (and plot) are delivered in somewhat stilted ways. However, the increasing tension of the novel, and its spiralling violence, are compelling, and it buzzes with an urgent energy. Erdrich writes for a world of growing instability: “Instead of the past, it is the future that haunts us now.”