Announcement of the international publication of Birnam Wood by Eleanor Catton


Posted in Aotearoa New Zealand on February 9, 2023 | Paperback $38 / Hardcover $50

A gripping literary thriller from The Luminaries Booker Prize-winning author Birnam Wood will be published by Te Herenga Waka University Press in February 2023, and worldwide in March 2023.

Editions published by Te Herenga Waka University Press, Granta in the UK, Farrar, Straus and Giroux in the US and McClelland & Stewart in Canada will all use covers designed by award-winning designer Jon Gray, and will come with new photography by Eleanor Catton by award-winning photographer Murdo MacLeod.

Booker Prize-winning novel The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton has sold 1.5 million copies worldwide, including 140,000 in New Zealand, and has been published in 32 languages.

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 major farmhouse abandoned. This land provides an opportunity for Birnam Wood, a guerrilla gardening collective that plants crops wherever no one will notice. But they had not figured on the enigmatic American billionaire Robert Lemoine, also interested in the place. Can they trust him? And, as their ideals and ideologies are tested, can they trust each other?

A gripping thriller from the Booker Prize-winning author of The Luminaries, Birnam Wood is Shakespearean in its wit, drama and immersion in character. A brilliantly constructed narrative of intentions, actions and consequences, it’s an unflinching examination of the human impulse to ensure our own survival.

“I wanted the novel to explore the contemporary political moment without itself being partisan or propagandistic. I wanted it to be fateful but never fatalistic, and satirical, but not in a way that serves the status quo. But above all, I wanted it to be a thriller, a book of action, seduction, surprise and possibility, a book where people make choices and mistakes that have deadly consequences, not just for themselves, but also for others. I hope it’s a gripping book, one that confides in you and makes you laugh and – especially, in a time of global existential threat – that makes you want to know what happens next. Eleanor Catton

“Publishing Ellie’s novels was a highlight of my life, and I look forward to sharing her new masterpiece with readers.” Fergus Barrowman, Editor, Te Herenga Waka University Press.

ELEANOR CATTON is the author of The Luminaries (2013), winner of the Booker Prize, the Canadian Governor General’s Literary Award and the New Zealand Book Award for Fiction. Her first novel, The Rehearsal (2009), won the New Zealand Best First Book of Fiction Award and the Betty Trask Prize, and was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Dylan Thomas Prize and shortlisted 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 lives in Great Britain.

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