We are overjoyed to announce that this morning at 11 AM ET, The Future by Catherine Leroux (translated by Susan Ouriou) was declared the winner of CBC’s Canada Reads competition 2024! One of the most important literary prizes in Canada, the competition is a four day broadcast event featuring five celebrity panelists championing Canadian books and debating their merits, in this battle of the books a title is eliminated each day until the last remaining book is named the one book all Canadians should read. The post-dystopian novel which was published by Biblioasis on September 5, 2023, was championed by the brilliant writer, and fantastic debater, Heather O’Neill. The theme of this year’s competition was “one book to carry us forward.” Set in an alternate history in which the city of Detroit was never ceded by French Canadian settlers and citizens still speak French, The Future is the story of one woman’s search for her missing granddaughters across a post-industrial landscape reeling from ecological collapse. It shows how it is in building community that we can find hope.

In her impassioned defense of the novel, Heather O’Neill said,

“This is a book about how the future belongs to children and how wrong it is that they are being given a broken world.”

The other Canada Reads champions appreciated the novel’s beautiful prose, colorful characters, and bittersweet ending. 

Both Catherine Leroux and Heather O’Neill are natives of Montréal, Québec and translator Susan Ouriou hails from Calgary, Alberta. The Future is the first translation to win Canada Reads since Kim Thúy’s Ru in 2015, and only the third translation to win in the prize’s more than twenty year history. 

Biblioasis publisher Dan Wells says,

“Before I was even a publisher, I remember listening avidly to Canada Reads. I can remember exactly where I was at certain moments—in the Tim Hortons drive-through in Emeryville, Ontario, when Lisa Moore defended Mavis Gallant’s short fiction against the suggestion that they were somehow lesser than a novel, for example—and today’s episode, for entirely different reasons, will remain as emblazoned. Heather O’Neill was the champion that a book like Catherine Leroux’s The Future needed, that literature in this country needs: kind, generous, gentle; off-centre and sparking insight in unexpected places and ways. We’re grateful for her efforts, thrilled for Catherine, one of our favourite writers and people; and ecstatic that Canada Reads has brought The Future to a nation-wide audience in a way that would have been impossible otherwise. Our heartfelt thanks, also, to moderator Ali Hassan, as well as Erin Balser, Lucy Mann, Charlene Chow and the rest of the Canada Reads team, whose professionalism, enthusiasm and care helped the anxiety go down.”

This is Biblioasis’ first book to win Canada Reads and its second translation 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 selects a winning book that all Canadians should read. Ali Hassan hosted the 23rd competition, in which a panel of five celebrity advocates will champion Canadian books. More information on the program is available at

Grab your copy of The Future here!


Winner of 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 • 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.

Photo Credit: Justine Latour

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 won CBC’s Canada Reads 2024, 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.

Photo Credit: Jaz Hart Studio Inc

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.