Birnam Wood | Granta

  • Published: 02/03/2023
  • ISBN: 9781783789788
  • Granta Books
  • 432 pages

Birnam Wood

Eleanor Catton

FROM THE WINNER OF THE BOOKER PRIZE

Birnam Wood is on the move…

A landslide has closed the Korowai Pass in New Zealand’s South Island, cutting off the town of Thorndike, leaving a sizable farm abandoned. The disaster presents an opportunity for Birnam Wood, a guerrilla gardening collective that plants crops wherever no one will notice. But they hadn’t figured on the enigmatic American billionaire Robert Lemoine, who also has an interest in the place. Can they trust him? And, as their ideals and ideologies are tested, can they trust each other?

A propulsive literary thriller from the Booker Prize-winning author of The Luminaries, Birnam Wood is Shakespearean in its wit, drama and immersion in character. It is a brilliantly constructed tale of intentions, actions and consequences, and 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

Phenomenal and utterly gripping, Birnam Wood has the sense of a literary writer setting herself free and having a bit of fun. It's fantastic. I loved it.

Jessie Burton

What I admired most in Birnam Wood was the way that the rapid violence of the climax rises, all of it, out of the deep, patient, infinitely nuanced character-work that comes before. If George Eliot had written a thriller, it might have been a bit like this

Francis Spufford

The Author

Eleanor Catton was born in 1985 in Ontario, Canada and raised in New Zealand. Her first novel, The Rehearsal, won the 2007 Adam Award from the International Institute of Modern Letters, and a Betty Trask Award. Her second novel, The Luminaries, was awarded the the 2013 Man Booker Prize and the 2013 Governor General’s Literary Award.

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From the Same Author

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Eleanor Catton & Anne Meadows

Anne Meadows talks to Eleanor Catton about opium and gold, whether a good author can also be a sadist and what it means to be a New Zealand writer today.

In Conversation | The Online Edition

Eleanor Catton | Interview

Eleanor Catton

Eleanor Catton, author of the critically acclaimed, Betty Trask-award-winning debut novel, The Rehearsal, talks to Granta.