The author of the acclaimed novel Scarborough weaves an unforgettable and timely dystopian account of a near-future when a queer Black performer and his allies join forces against an oppressive regime that is rounding up those deemed “Other” in concentration camps.
In a terrifyingly familiar near-future, with massive floods that lead to rampant homelessness and devastation, a government-sanctioned regime called the Boots seizes the opportunity to force communities of colour, the disabled and the LGBTQ2S into labour camps in the city of Toronto.
In the shadows, a new hero emerges. After his livelihood and the love of his life are taken away, Kay joins the resistance alongside Bahadur, a transmasculine refugee, and Firuzeh, a headstrong social worker. Guiding them in the use of weapons and close-quarters combat is Beck, a rogue army officer who helps them plan an uprising at a major internationally televised event.
With her signature prose, described by Booklist as “raw yet beautiful, disturbing yet hopeful,” Catherine Hernandez creates a vision of the future that is all the more terrifying because it is very possible. A cautionary tale filled with fierce and vibrant characters, Crosshairs explores the universal desire to thrive, to love and to be loved as your true self.
“Scarborough is raw yet beautiful, disturbing yet hopeful ... it also gives voice to people whose stories are often unheard, making this an important book that deserves a wide audience.”
"[Scarborough] is a town coloured by its people, brutal when it’s rough, comfortably home when it feels like it or when it doesn’t. And this is a story on the reckoning of privilege and the acceptance of difference."
“In her dexterous debut, Catherine Hernandez powerfully centres the margins by interlacing narratives that spotlight the beauty that thrives beyond the big city."
“Rooted from within the worldview and place it portrays, Scarborough is an intimate portrait of a community with all its nuances and desires deftly captured ... Brick by brick, life by life, Scarborough delivers an orchestral impact, one small, beautiful voice at a time.”
“[Scarborough is] a celebration of community, a sensitive and compassionate portrayal of how lives are irrevocably changed, moment by moment, through small acts of kindness or cruelty. It’s a novel that deserves to be read widely.”
“Scarborough marks the arrival of a fierce new voice in Canadian fiction. Hernandez has rendered one of the most vibrant portraits of contemporary suburbia I've yet encountered.”
“In Crosshairs, Catherine Hernandez shapes a world at once fantastical and familiar, remarkable and relatable. . . .The result is a sparkling but devastating novel about corporate and state cruelty, individual as well as community sacrifice, and queer Black and Brown kinship that must be protected at all costs. Timely, unapologetic, complicated.”
“Crosshairs made me shiver. It troubled my dreams. Still, I could not put down this dystopia. It was utterly compelling. Catherine Hernandez prophesies Canadian genocide against queer, Black, brown and Indigenous folks. At the same time, she inspires the reader with her depiction of a resistance full of characters who—even in the face of hatred and complacency—show love, pride, endurance, courage and who insist on living to the very last breath.”
“Hernandez goes deeper than most writers dare when it comes to the complexities of racial and cultural violences, unafraid to unpack the explicit and implicit prejudices that inform her characters' behaviours, white and racialized alike ... This is a crucial book for Toronto, and a shining example for writers concerned with the cultural tensions of the now."
“Crosshairs is a blistering page-turner. One can describe it as dystopic fiction, but Catherine Hernandez is presenting us with something much more prescient to consider. The novel acts as a provocation and a challenge for readers to locate themselves. Crosshairs offers a glance into a world that is possible if we continue on a trajectory that is frightfully present. Most importantly, Crosshairs asks us what we will do to resist and build a better future when faced with such momentous and dangerous times.”
“A beautiful, unapologetic, and unwatered-down burst of fury against cis white supremacy and tyrannical power systems, centered around a main cast that must be fiercely protected. Hernandez writes the best kind of dystopian story, one that holds a sobering mirror up to our own world. Let this book haunt you.”
"Crosshairs is both unnervingly prescient and undeniably profound. A harrowing work that's as much a battle cry as a ballad for the erased, and we should all be listening."
“An engrossing read ... Hernandez sets us running down that subway corridor, anxious for what comes around the next corner. Heartbreak, to be sure. But also unexpected joys and big lessons. Highly recommended.”