The Booker Prize-winning author of The Luminaries discusses her new novel, Birnam Wood. A gripping psychological thriller, it is Shakespearean in its wit, drama and immersion in character. An unflinching examination of the human impulse to ensure our own survival.
‘Birnam Wood is terrific. As a multilayered, character-driven thriller, it’s as good as it gets. Ruth Rendell would have loved it. A beautifully textured work – what a treat’ – Stephen King
About the book
Birnam Wood is on the move…
A landslide has closed the Korowai Pass in New Zealand’s South Island, leaving a sizable farm abandoned. This land offers an opportunity to ‘Birnam Wood’, a guerrilla gardening collective who plant crops where no one will notice.
But they hadn’t figured on the enigmatic American billionaire, Robert Lemoine, also having an interest in the place. Can they trust him? And, as their ideals and ideologies are tested, can they trust each other?
The first novel in a decade from the Booker Prize-winning author, Birnam Wood is a brilliantly constructed tale of intentions, actions, and consequences, a skewering of political certainties, and an unflinching examination of the human impulse for survival. Ultimately, the reader is left to wonder: who will survive, and what will be left of them?*
‘If George Eliot had written a thriller, it might have been a bit like this’ FRANCIS SPUFFORD
‘Birnam Wood is terrific. As a multilayered, character-driven thriller, it’s as good as it gets. Ruth Rendell would have loved it. A beautifully textured work – what a treat’ STEPHEN KING
‘A spectacular book…It feels like the product of astonishing skill… breathtaking’
‘Has the sense of a literary writer setting herself free. It’s fantastic. I loved it’ JESSIE BURTON
About the author
Eleanor Catton is the author of The Luminaries, winner of the Man Booker Prize and a global bestseller.
Her debut novel, The Rehearsal, won the Betty Trask Prize, was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Dylan Thomas Prize, and longlisted for the Orange Prize.
As a screenwriter, she adapted The Luminaries for television, and Jane Austen’s Emma for feature film.
Born in 1985 in Canada and raised in New Zealand, she now lives in Cambridge.