Eleanor Catton in Conversation
Ten years after winning The Booker Prize with her epic novel The Luminaries, New Zealand novelist Eleanor Catton returns with a spectacular new novel Birnam Wood. A brilliant psychological thriller, the novel draws on many of the biggest themes of the day from climate change, land-grabbing and surveillance technology to power, corruption and doomsday preppers.
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?
Eleanor Catton was born in Canada and raised in Christchurch, New Zealand. Her debut novel The Rehearsal won the Betty Trask Award and was longlisted for the Orange Prize. Her second novel, The Luminaries, won the 2013 Booker Prize and became a global bestseller that was translated into 32 languages. Eleanor spent two years writing and researching her sweeping, historical novel about the New Zealand gold rush and adapted The Luminaries into a six-part television series for BBC2. She also wrote the screenplay for the 2020 film adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma.
Join us for this special event hosted by writer Kate Feld and presented in partnership with the Centre for New Writing and Creative Manchester.
“Birnam Wood by Eleanor Catton comes 10 years after The Luminaries and is worth the long wait. Full of wit, big ideas and the most beautiful writing, it’s the story of a group of guerrilla gardeners who clash with a billionaire prepper. I loved it.” – The Guardian