We’re thrilled to share that this morning, CBC announced the shortlist for Canada Reads 2024. The Future by Catherine Leroux (translated by Susan Ouriou) which was published by Biblioasis on September 5, 2023, will be championed by writer Heather O’Neill. The live debates will take place from March 4th to 7th, 2024. The theme of this year’s competition is hope. We are living in challenging times, and CBC Books has curated a list of books about, “finding the resilience and the hope needed to carry on and keep moving forward.”
Champion Heather O’Neill says The Future is an accomplished novel portraying,
“A dystopian world of feral children and corruption. Leroux describes it in an eerily beautiful and absolutely unique voice.”
Both Catherine Leroux and Heather O’Neill are natives of Montreal. In a Toronto Star feature story published today, Steven Beattie spoke to Leroux about her novel and to O’Neill about selecting The Future:
“As far as that rubric goes, Leroux’s book seems like a natural fit. With its overlapping themes of ecological decay, motherhood, childhood, and societal discord, The Future seemed to offer O’Neill a rich trove of subject matter to address—a significant consideration when she was musing about what book she wanted to champion. ‘You have to find a book that you can dig into and discuss for an entire week,’ O’Neill says. ‘There are just so many elements in The Future to talk about. I thought, this is going to be really fun.'”
Biblioasis publisher Dan Wells says,
“We’re so pleased for Catherine, and grateful to Heather O’Neill for her enthusiasm for The Future! It’s a book for this moment: in a world that too often seems dystopic, it asks what comes after, where we’ll find our communities, pointing to ways we can live better together. We’re thankful as well to the CBC Books team, and that this program will bring so many new readers to Catherine’s wonderful work.”
This is the second of Biblioasis’ books to be nominated for CBC’s Canada Reads. The Dishwasher by Stéphane Larue (translated by Pablo Strauss) was nominated in 2020. Biblioasis is a literary press based in Windsor, Ontario. Since 2004 we have published the best in contemporary fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and literature in translation.
CBC’s Canada Reads premiered in 2002. The great Canadian book debate has been airing annually for more than twenty years and aims to select a winning book that all Canadians should read. Ali Hassan will host the 23rd competition, in which a panel of five celebrity advocates will champion Canadian books. Each day of the competition, one book will be eliminated by the panelists until a winner is declared the must-read book for Canadians in 2024. More information on the program and the selected titles is available at cbcbooks.ca.
Order your copy of The Future here!
Shortlisted for Canada Reads 2024 • 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 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.
Catherine Leroux is a Quebec novelist, translator and editor born in 1979. Her novel Le mur mitoyen won the France-Quebec Prize and its English version, The Party Wall, was nominated for the 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize. The Future received the Jacques-Brossard award for speculative fiction and was nominated for the Quebec Booksellers Prize. Catherine also won the 2019 Governor General’s Literary Award for her translation of Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien. Two of her novels are currently being adapted for the screen. She lives in Montreal with her two children.
Susan Ouriou is an award-winning fiction writer and literary translator with over sixty translations and co-translations of fiction, non-fiction, children’s and young-adult literature to her credit. She has won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation for which she has also been shortlisted on five other occasions. Many of her young adult translations have made the IBBY Honor List. She has also published two novels, Damselfish and Nathan, edited the anthologies Beyond Words—Translating the World and Languages of Our Land—Indigenous Poems and Stories from Quebec and contributed a one-act play to the upcoming anthology Many Mothers—Seven Skies. Susan lives in Calgary, Alberta.