Apocalypse Child

Surviving Doomsday and the Search for Identity at the End of the World

By Carly Butler

Categories: Memoir
Imprint: Caitlin Press
Paperback : 9781773861326, 246 pages, March 2024

In Apocalypse Child, Carly Butler revisits a childhood shaped by white evangelicalism and conspiracy theories, and reclaims her identity as a queer, Mexican-Indigenous, Canadian mother.


Carly Butler was a lively, imaginative child being raised by her strong and independent mom, DJ, in 1990s Montana. They were a dynamic duo, working on housing projects and bringing music to the local church. Then, a whisper of a threatened future began to grow louder: Y2K was coming.

Believing every conspiracy theory and Evangelical Christian prediction they encountered to be true, DJ and a young, impressionable Carly set out on a lonely path. Taught to prepare for the worst and to fear her girlhood dreams as warnings from God, Carly and her mother flee to the Canadian wilderness, leaving behind Barbies and Nintendo for chopping wood and shooting empty bottles for target practice. They connected with other Evangelical Christians preparing for doomsday, but were often stranded alone, without electricity, for weeks at a time as the winter—and the apocalypse—approached.  

But what happens when the world doesn’t end, after all?

Apocalypse Child is a startling memoir about growing up in a tumultuous home, coming of age in isolation, and trying to figure out how to connect as an adult when your education has consisted of conspiracy theories, survivalist measures, and religious doctrine. From doomsday preparation and ideologies of purity and paranoia to motherhood and explorations of a burgeoning queer, Mexican-Indigenous identity, Carly Butler takes us on a gripping journey of resilience, self-discovery, and searching for community.