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Wyndham Lewis argued that the artist is always writing a “detailed history of the future” because only the artist is fully aware of the present. The Canadian novelist Gabrielle Roy is a case in point. Reacting to the racism and bigotry of the world around her, she created a quasi-utopian fiction purged of those elements in Where Nests the Water Hen. Its two main characters and their Jewish and Protestant acquaintances presciently act out the ecumenical directives of Vatican II (1962–1965) well over a decade before they were formulated. To read the novel today is to experience both eras at one sitting.