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2024 Longlist

Birnam Wood

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ABOUT
THE BOOK

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 a brilliantly constructed tale of intentions, actions, consequences and survival.

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Eleanor
Catton

ELEANOR CATTON is the author of The Luminaries (Granta, 2013), winner of the Man Booker Prize and the Governor General’s Literary Award and an international bestseller. Her debut novel, The Rehearsal (Granta, 2009), won a Betty Trask Award, 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, England. Photo Credit: Murdo Macleod

ELEANOR CATTON is the author of The Luminaries (Granta, 2013), winner of the Man Booker Prize and the Governor General’s Literary Award and an international bestseller. Her debut novel, The Rehearsal (Granta, 2009), won a Betty Trask Award, 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, England. Photo Credit: Murdo Macleod

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NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS

The Forest of Birnam, by the New Zealand author Eleanor Catton, is a satirical novel that beautifully captures the clash between the young activist Mira Bunting, founder of the anarchistic ecological collective Birnam Wood, and the cunning American billionaire Robert Lemoine. The novel slowly builds up to a brilliant and audacious climax, offering more than just a simple clash between an eco-activists and a billionaire. The tragic narrative contains an ideological layer, exploring themes such as the pursuit of ideological purity, the ecological crisis, the rise of corporate power and capitalism itself. Additionally, Catton proves to be a masterful storyteller, crafting beautiful and intricate sentences filled with meticulous detail. The Forest of Birnam is not only a fresh and original novel but also showcases delightful characters and a dark, ironic, dramatic, and simply brilliant narrative. (Openbare Bibliotheek Brugghe) Birnam Wood places the global climate emergency’s key concerns and players into a microcosmic South Island setting in this wildly accomplished ride of a read that opens with a landslide and ends in a rush of sturm und drang. Catton dives deeply into each characters’ psyche then zoom outs to show us their decisions and interactions playing out in real time on the stage of a sought-after rural property bordering a protected national park. From a technocrat billionaire with devious plans and surveillance drones, to the government-endorsed and green-washing landowners resting on easily won laurels and the desperate debates on what the liberal left should be doing – no one is spared Catton’s sharp pen and eye in this no-holds-barred novel where ideals and morals butt up against personal ambition. (Auckland Council Libraries)

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
09/02/2023
Country
New Zealand
Original Language
English
Publisher
Granta
Borrow this book from Libraries Ireland

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