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Future Home of the Living God: A Novel von…
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Future Home of the Living God: A Novel (2017. Auflage)

von Louise Erdrich (Autor)

MitgliederRezensionenBeliebtheitDurchschnittliche BewertungDiskussionen
1,0496414,857 (3.52)60
A New York Times Notable Book of 2017 Louise Erdrich, the New York Times bestselling, National Book Award-winning author of LaRose and The Round House, paints a startling portrait of a young woman fighting for her life and her unborn child against oppressive forces that manifest in the wake of a cataclysmic event. The world as we know it is ending. Evolution has reversed itself, affecting every living creature on earth. Science cannot stop the world from running backwards, as woman after woman gives birth to infants that appear to be primitive species of humans. Twenty-six-year-old Cedar Hawk Songmaker, adopted daughter of a pair of big-hearted, open-minded Minneapolis liberals, is as disturbed and uncertain as the rest of America around her. But for Cedar, this change is profound and deeply personal. She is four months pregnant. Though she wants to tell the adoptive parents who raised her from infancy, Cedar first feels compelled to find her birth mother, Mary Potts, an Ojibwe living on the reservation, to understand both her and her baby's origins. As Cedar goes back to her own biological beginnings, society around her begins to disintegrate, fueled by a swelling panic about the end of humanity. There are rumors of martial law, of Congress confining pregnant women. Of a registry, and rewards for those who turn these wanted women in. Flickering through the chaos are signs of increasing repression: a shaken Cedar witnesses a family wrenched apart when police violently drag a mother from her husband and child in a parking lot. The streets of her neighborhood have been renamed with Bible verses. A stranger answers the phone when she calls her adoptive parents, who have vanished without a trace. It will take all Cedar has to avoid the prying eyes of potential informants and keep her baby safe. A chilling dystopian novel both provocative and prescient, Future Home of the Living God is a startlingly original work from one of our most acclaimed writers: a moving meditation on female agency, self-determination, biology, and natural rights that speaks to the troubling changes of our time.… (mehr)
Mitglied:wagnerkim
Titel:Future Home of the Living God: A Novel
Autoren:Louise Erdrich (Autor)
Info:Harper (2017), Edition: Reprint, 355 pages
Sammlungen:Deine Bibliothek
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Tags:to-read

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Future Home of the Living God von Louise Erdrich

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I have a terrible habit of choosing books without reading the blurb for fear of too much information. This was good but an emotional drain right now due to the topic of climate change + a ramped up Handmaid's Tale. ( )
  viviennestrauss | Oct 12, 2021 |
Future Home of the Living God is a thought-provoking and unsettling book that centers on one impossible premise-- the sudden reversal of evolution-- and builds an eerily possible dystopian world around it.

The novel is formatted as a series of journal entries written by Cedar Hawk Songmaker, a young woman four months pregnant at the outset of this global catastrophe. Finding herself in a dangerous new militant America that is rounding up all pregnant women for study, Cedar makes her way through this new world with the help of both her adoptive parents, a white hippie couple from suburban Minneapolis, and her recently-rediscovered Ojibwe birth family, who own a Superpumper on a northern Minnesota reservation.

Comparisons between this book and The Handmaid’s Tale are unavoidable, as both novels deal with dystopian religious hegemony and reproductive freedoms. But Future Home of the Living God more than holds up as a successor, deftly handling these themes together with others that occupy Erdrich’s earlier books, such as Native American identity and reservation border politics. One of the things that seems most absent from The Handmaid's Tale's portrayal of the slavery of women is any discussion of race, which Erdrich folds easily and naturally into her narrative. ( )
  misslevel | Sep 22, 2021 |
This is a tough one, because Louise Erdrich is a brilliant writer, and some parts of this novel work very well--when it comes to the relationships between people, she's on sure footing, and some of the passages are gorgeous.

I don't know how much of this is a function of the length (only 270 pages, cut down by 200 pages from the initial draft), its stop-start genesis (Erdrich began the novel in 2002 and set it aside, finishing it in 2016), or if Erdrich is just not really in her comfort zone when it comes to speculative fiction, but as a whole, the novel doesn't quite work. Our knowledge of what has happened is extremely sketchy, and the scenario is too much like The Handmaid's Tale. This is partly forced by the setup--Cedar spends most of the novel hiding in various places, isolated from information. Instead we get occasional drips of detail: chickens devolving into iguanas. The setup also limits the plot, which moves slowly even for a novel of its length. Cedar spends too much of the novel just waiting with her thoughts. ( )
  arosoff | Jul 11, 2021 |
Great writing and characters in a melancholy and futuristic setting. ( )
  KatyBee | Jul 8, 2021 |
A profound and perplexing novel, equal parts cautionary tale, dystopian nightmare, and fever dream, where nothing is quite as it seems and humanity’s time on earth may be drawing to a close.

If you’re looking for a carefully plotted and seamlessly created end-of-times story, this isn’t it. Erdrich paints with a broad brush, or perhaps just limns with pastel chalks, and then smears them a bit for a vaguely implied meaning that shifts even as the reader examines it.

Basically, the story follows Cedar Hawk Songmaker, the adopted daughter of a white couple in Minneapolis whose genetic inheritance is Native American, though details are vague and not always accurate. She has come of age in a near-future world that is changing from forces neither clearly understood nor fully explained to the reader. But in addition to rapid climate change – her home is a Minneapolis in which it no longer snows – something seems to be happening to the plant and animal life forms, including the human ones. Domestic animals no longer breed true – chickens are now something that more closely resemble iguanas, agricultural crops yield inedible or unpalatable new fruits, and something (which maddeningly remains undefined) is happening to human reproduction.

This is a nearly fatal flaw, since much of the action springs from this sea change. It’s unclear whether women are having trouble conceiving (there’s a passing reference to parthogenesis and a more than passing reference to Christianity’s concept of virgin birth), or whether fetal and maternal death rates have soared, or whether the children being born are something more or less than human. It’s as if evolution has either made a U-turn, or perhaps is curving off into some new version of the Cambrian Explosion.

And it’s all of great import to Cedar, because she has recently discovered herself to be pregnant, following an intense affair with a young man she’s not sure she wants to make a family with. These personal-level concerns quickly get absorbed by more pressing concerns when a vague and shadowy theocracy arises and begins rounding up pregnant woman. Cedar chooses this time to demand information on her biological parents and journeys to the Ojibwe reservation where she meets her biological mother and her mother’s new partner, a man whose concentration is largely spent on finding reasons every day to eschew suicide. While on this journey of personal exploration, she slowly realizes that the danger she has been repeatedly warned about is quite real. Most of the rest of the book is set against Cedar’s attempts to evade capture or to escape when she is apprehended, in the company of various companions.

And again, that menacing but vague background threatens to dissolve into utter incoherence. Why are pregnant women being imprisoned? (Because, even though it’s being presented as “a way to keep you and your baby safe”, it’s not.) What is happening to the babies? Are mothers routinely murdered during unnecessary Cesarean sections? And are they unnecessary or is it really impossible for these maybe-not-human infants to pass through a human woman’s birth canal? There’s a subplot about a “volunteer womb corps” which quickly becomes essentially slavery as women are implanted with fertilized embryos harvested from existing stocks, or (if they have proven capable of bearing and survived) are artificially inseminated with frozen sperm stocks. Why? And if they’re so important to the future of the human race, why does the shadowy theocracy keep them imprisoned instead of elevating them to nearly goddess-like status?

It just doesn’t work.

And that’s a shame, because there’s a lot of good stuff here. The adventure of Cedar running and evading capture, the relationships she builds along the way, the recurrent Christian theme of Word made Flesh and how or whether that relates to the changes in the biosphere, Cedar’s pregnancy journal which she keeps even when virtually everything else is abandoned so that she can hand something to her child once it is born, the family secrets that are revealed, the pushme-pullyou of Native versus White value systems and spirituality – this is all great material, but it really struggles to rise from the primordial ooze that just refuses to form a coherent matrix.

“The first thing that happens at the end of the world is that we don’t know what is happening,” one of her characters observes. The problem is, neither does the reader, and it’s a flaw this ambitious work just can’t overcome. ( )
  LyndaInOregon | Jul 2, 2021 |
The funny thing about this not-very-good novel is that there are so many good small things in it. Erdrich is such a gifted and (when she wants to be) earthy writer; her sentences can flash with wit and feeling, sunbursts of her imagination.
hinzugefügt von lquilter | bearbeitenNew York Times, Dwight Garner (Nov 14, 2017)
 

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AutorennameRolleArt des AutorsWerk?Status
Louise ErdrichHauptautoralle Ausgabenberechnet
Mantovani, VincenzoÜbersetzerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
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The Word is living, being, spirit, all verdant greening, all creativity. This Word manifests itself in every creature.
-Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179)
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When I tell you that my white name is Cedar Hawk Songmaker and that I am the adopted child of Minneapolis liberals, and that when I went looking for my Ojibwe parents and found that I was born Mary Potts I hid the knowledge, maybe you'll understand.
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A New York Times Notable Book of 2017 Louise Erdrich, the New York Times bestselling, National Book Award-winning author of LaRose and The Round House, paints a startling portrait of a young woman fighting for her life and her unborn child against oppressive forces that manifest in the wake of a cataclysmic event. The world as we know it is ending. Evolution has reversed itself, affecting every living creature on earth. Science cannot stop the world from running backwards, as woman after woman gives birth to infants that appear to be primitive species of humans. Twenty-six-year-old Cedar Hawk Songmaker, adopted daughter of a pair of big-hearted, open-minded Minneapolis liberals, is as disturbed and uncertain as the rest of America around her. But for Cedar, this change is profound and deeply personal. She is four months pregnant. Though she wants to tell the adoptive parents who raised her from infancy, Cedar first feels compelled to find her birth mother, Mary Potts, an Ojibwe living on the reservation, to understand both her and her baby's origins. As Cedar goes back to her own biological beginnings, society around her begins to disintegrate, fueled by a swelling panic about the end of humanity. There are rumors of martial law, of Congress confining pregnant women. Of a registry, and rewards for those who turn these wanted women in. Flickering through the chaos are signs of increasing repression: a shaken Cedar witnesses a family wrenched apart when police violently drag a mother from her husband and child in a parking lot. The streets of her neighborhood have been renamed with Bible verses. A stranger answers the phone when she calls her adoptive parents, who have vanished without a trace. It will take all Cedar has to avoid the prying eyes of potential informants and keep her baby safe. A chilling dystopian novel both provocative and prescient, Future Home of the Living God is a startlingly original work from one of our most acclaimed writers: a moving meditation on female agency, self-determination, biology, and natural rights that speaks to the troubling changes of our time.

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