The Future

The Future

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WJB Book Club Pick for February 2024!

Join us to discuss The Future on February 29th at 6:00pm at Craft Heads Brewing Company. Use code BOOKCLUB to get 20% off the list price!

Shortlisted for Canada Reads 2024 • One of‘s Can’t Miss Speculative Fiction for Fall 2023 • Listed in CBC Books Fiction to Read in Fall 2023 • One of 20 Books You Heard about on CBC Last Week • One of Kirkus Reviews‘ Fall 2023 Big Books By Small Presses • A Kirkus Review Work of Translated Fiction To Read Now • One of CBC Books Best Books of 2023

In an alternate history in which the French never surrendered Detroit, children protect their own kingdom in the trees.

In an alternate history of Detroit, the Motor City was never surrendered to the US. Its residents deal with pollution, poverty, and the legacy of racism—and strange and magical things are happening: children rule over their own kingdom in the trees and burned houses regenerate themselves. When Gloria arrives looking for answers and her missing granddaughters, at first she finds only a hungry mouse in the derelict home where her daughter was murdered. But the neighbours take pity on her and she turns to their resilience and impressive gardens for sustenance.

When a strange intuition sends Gloria into the woods of Parc Rouge, where the city’s orphaned and abandoned children are rumored to have created their own society, she can’t imagine the strength she will find. A richly imagined story of community and a plea for persistence in the face of our uncertain future, The Future is a lyrical testament to the power we hold to protect the people and places we love—together.

Download The Future Reading Guide here

Praise for The Future

“What makes The Future hopeful is its imagining of new, organic, co-operative (but not egalitarian) communities … savage but caring networks: small, local, and while living close to the edge still managing to get by. It may not be progress, but it is adapting to a vision of the future that hits pretty close to home.”
—Alex Good, Toronto Star

“This atmospheric novel elevates disparate voices, drawing a complex picture of community-focused life beyond the family unit.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

The Future is a rewarding read, mostly because of the hope it instills. There is some violence, of course, but Leroux’s vision of the future is one where people go out of their way to help each other to survive.”
—Winnipeg Free Press

“Leroux brings believability, poetry, and hopefulness to the dystopian narrative of Fort Détroit by steering clear of the many pitfalls of end-times novel … This permits the novel to imagine infinite small beginnings within the ending, and to show how destruction is balanced by the ever-present promise of creation.”
—Bronwyn Averett, Montreal Review of Books

“At the heart of Catherine Leroux’s extraordinary novel are the rising and vanishing lifeworlds nurtured by the Rouge River. The children of the Rouge are hunters and prey, remorseless, capable, indelible—‘wildings’ who are simultaneously custodians and seeds of the future. This ferocious, provocative dystopia is a dance of knives, and a deeply moving exploration of our decaying, adapting, ever-changing world.”
—Madeleine Thien, author of Do Not Say We Have Nothing

“Unlike some dystopian books, The Future is suffused with a sense of optimism … Though their neighbourhood is decaying and the economy is crumbling, the characters reach beyond the every-person-for-themselves trope by celebrating community, the power of cooperation, and hope.”
—The Miramichi Reader

“An inherently fascinating, original, and carefully crafted novel that raises ‘alternate history’ science fiction to a high level of literary eloquence, The Future is unique, entertaining, and highly recommended.”
—Midwest Review of Books

“This is a wonderful and complicated story about unique and intertwined characters. Leroux includes perfectly subtle allusions, and her writing is absolutely beautiful.”
—McGill Daily

“At the height of her art, in a profound and teeming language marked by dialogues written in an invented patois, Catherine Leroux also gives us a glimpse of a world where nature flourishes against all odds, where legends are brought to life and where magical realism reigns.”
La Presse, Montreal

“The novel answers concrete questions: what happens after the end of the world? … Nothing can erase the survivors’ traumatic memories but their hope persists and their present is full of intergenerational support and characters who create new ways of living among the ruins … Catherine Leroux delivers a dazzling and original novel, above all a testament to the humanity and resilience of communities in the margins.”
Etudes, Montreal

“This poignant utopia captures how cities have souls, how they live and die, and how they sometimes miraculously rise from the dead. Far from the usual depressing post-apocalyptic novel, The Future is an exhilarating story in which Gloria, who relies on her daily horoscope to guide her, creates a future for her community that is finally able to find wonder after suffering loss.”
Livres Hebdo, Montreal

“Despite the suffering and horror, despite the precariousness, the novel is full of hope, light and goodness, and offers a vision of intergenerational healing.”
Le Devoir, Montreal


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