The Future Future
by Adam Thirlwell
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Pub Date 17 Oct 2023 | Archive Date 30 Nov 2023
Shortlisted for the 2023 Goldsmiths Prize
A wild story of female friendship, language, and power, from France to colonial America to the moon, from 1775 to this very moment: a historical novel like no other.
It’s the eighteenth century, and Celine is in trouble. Her husband is mostly absent. Her parents are elsewhere. And meanwhile men are inventing stories about her—about her aff airs, her sexuality, her orgies and addictions. All these stories are lies, but the public loves them and spreads them like a virus. Celine can only watch as her name becomes a symbol for everything rotten in society.
This is a world of decadence and saturation, of lavish parties and private salons, of tulle and satin and sex and violence. It’s also one ruled by men—high on colonial genocide, natural destruction, crimes against women, and, above all, language. To survive, Celine and her friends must band together in search of justice, truth, and beauty.
Fantastical, funny, and blindingly bright, Adam Thirlwell’s The Future Future follows one woman on an urgently contemporary quest to clear her name and change the world.
A Note From the Publisher
“The Future Future weaves together so many different wisps of reality, creating something radically beautiful. Here, we see the celestial and the political sharing the same plane, inventing wondrous new ways of understanding history, friendship and time.” —Sheila Heti, author of Pure Colour
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 18 members
The Future Future by Adam Thirlwell is a truly unique and inventive historical novel that takes readers on a wild ride through time and space. Set in the eighteenth century, the novel follows Celine, a woman who finds herself the subject of scandalous rumors and lies spread by men who seek to control her. Thirlwell's writing is vivid and sensual, bringing to life a world of lavish parties and salons, of tulle and satin and sex. But this is also a world of revolution and resistance, where men rule with violence and language.
As Celine and her friends band together against evil and history, the novel takes readers on a journey through time and space, from France to colonial America to the moon. Thirlwell's language is dazzlingly inventive and blindingly bright, and his humor and modern sensibility make The Future Future a pleasure to read.
Ultimately, The Future Future is a novel about power, language, and the struggle for justice and truth in a world ruled by men. Thirlwell's characters are complex and compelling, and their quest for beauty and change feels urgent and contemporary. This is a novel like no other, and readers who enjoy inventive, boundary-pushing historical fiction will not want to miss it.