Item Information
Item#: 9781771965606
Edition 01
Author Leroux & Ouriou

Winner of Canada Reads 2024 • Longlisted for the 2024 Carol Shields Prize for Fiction • One of Tor.com'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 • A CBC Books Bestselling Canadian Book of the Week

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.

Review Quotes

Praise for The Future

“The Future takes place in a post apocalyptic Detroit where everyone speaks French, which is super cool. It’s the most magical response to the Lord of the Flies, you’re going to meet a group of feral murderous children, whose meditations on life are so gorgeous, and absurd, and perverse that they are poetry. This wild group of children show us a model for a new society where everyone’s dream life is equally important.”
—Heather O’Neill, championing The Future on CBC Canada Reads

"The novel contends with histories of forced migration, poverty, and environmental degradation . . . [and] speak[s] more broadly to the ways cities will be forced to change in the face of climate change."

“This year’s Canada Reads debates . . . have the theme 'one book to carry us forward.' As far as that rubric goes, Leroux’s book seems like a natural fit.”
—Steven Beattie, Toronto Star

"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

"A prescient narrative about motherhood and childhood that is alternately joyous and heartbreaking. Even with all the chaos, suffering, death, and despair of Fort Détroit, The Future provides a careful yet beautiful message of hope: one found in community, freedom, friendship, and forgiveness."
—Stacey May Fowles, Literary Review of Canada

"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 novels . . . 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

"The Future is so artfully crafted and gives us a poetic vision: despite terrible societal changes, an imaginative future of community and hope can still arise."
—MTL Blog

"Leroux immerses the reader in these children’s world as they experience it . . . Trees and animals, wind and water speak to them in ways adults have forgotten . . . A paean to the wisdom that childhood possesses and the promise that it holds."
—Timothy Niedermann, Ottawa Review of Books

"While the setting of The Future is indeed dystopian—a ruined and toxic Fort Détroit—the story told here is one that won’t leave you despairing."
—C. S. Wiesenthal, Alberta Views

"The Future is as factual as it is fictional, and the strength, creativity, and humour with which her characters weather each storm that comes their way are truly inspiring."
—McGill Daily

"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

“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

"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

"Catherine Leroux’s novel The Future (freshly translated by Susan Ouriou) presents a complex, layered story that probes how people navigate turbulent times, alone and together."
—Marcie McCauley, PRISM International

"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

"In The Future, old things are dying and new things are growing. That the new things come at the cost of the loss of the old can't help but tint our feelings towards them. It's this grey area that Leroux manages to break light through."

“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

Praise for Catherine Leroux

“[Leroux] expertly probes fallible, achingly human characters to form a portrait of a lost woman and examine the fragile forces that underlie a life. Gorgeously written, unsettling, and well worth the read.”
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Leroux skillfully reveals the inner worlds of her achingly human characters and the intricate bonds that connect them to each other. Images from this beautiful and moving book will haunt readers.”
—Publishers Weekly

“Leroux is a fearless writer who invokes fable with sure-footed confidence . . . The end result is a novel that packs a star’s density of rage and love into its pages, a delicate and unflinching look at the impossibilities of womanhood that is nothing short of incandescent. A testament to the power of fable and myth, Madame Victoria is a triumphant feat of storytelling.”
—Quill & Quire (starred review)

“One of Canada’s best and most adventurous writers.”
—Montreal Gazette

“A unique and inherently fascinating approach to narrative storytelling, and ably translated into English by Lazer Lederhendler . . . unreservedly recommended.”
—Midwest Book Review