Wednesday, 7:00 pm EST March 8, 2023
The Center for Fiction
The Ticket/Voucher option includes a $10 Bookstore voucher, redeemable toward the featured event book on the night of the event. All registrants will receive a link to livestream the event.
Please Note: The use of face masks will be required at this event.
Just Announced! Join us for a free reception at the Café & Bar after the event, courtesy of FSG.
The Center for Fiction welcomes Man Booker Prize-winning author Eleanor Catton (The Luminaries) for the launch of her gripping psychological thriller, Birnam Wood. The novel follows the attempts of an undeclared, unregulated, sometimes-criminal, sometimes-philanthropic guerrilla gardening collective to occupy an abandoned New Zealand plot of farmland. They clash with billionaire Robert Lemione, who intends to build an end-times bunker on the property.
Eleanor Catton will be joined by with New York Times bestselling author Meg Wolitzer (The Female Persuasion) for an intellectual discussion between two literary giants about a character-centered work that asks us the lengths to which we are willing to go 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
Eleanor Catton is the author of international bestseller The Luminaries, winner of the Man Booker Prize and the Governor General’s Literary Award. 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 Canada and raised in New Zealand, she now lives in Cambridge, England.
Photo Credit: Murdo Macleod
Meg Wolitzer is a novelist whose many books include The Female Persuasion, The Interestings, and The Wife. She is a member of the MFA faculty at SUNY Stony Brook, where she co-founded and co-directs BookEnds, a yearlong, non-credit intensive in the novel. Wolitzer was guest editor of The Best American Short Stories 2017, and is the new permanent host of the literary radio show and podcast Selected Shorts.
Photo Credit: Nina Subin
By Eleanor Catton
Published by FSG
Birnam Wood is on the move . . .
A landslide has closed the Korowai Pass on New Zealand’s South Island, cutting o? the town of Thorndike and leaving a sizable farm abandoned. The disaster presents an opportunity for Birnam Wood, an undeclared, unregulated, sometimes-criminal, sometimes-philanthropic guerrilla gardening collective that plants crops wherever no one will notice. For years, the group has struggled to break even. To occupy the farm at Thorndike would mean a shot at solvency at last.
But the enigmatic American billionaire Robert Lemoine also has an interest in the place: he has snatched it up to build his end-times bunker, or so he tells Birnam’s founder, Mira, when he catches her on the property. He’s intrigued by Mira, and by Birnam Wood; although they’re poles apart politically, it seems Lemoine and the group might have enemies in common. But can Birnam trust him? And, as their ideals and ideologies are tested, can they trust one another?
A gripping psychological thriller from the Booker Prize–winning author of The Luminaries, Eleanor Catton’s Birnam Wood is Shakespearean in its drama, Austenian in its wit, and, like both influences, fascinated by what makes us who we are. A brilliantly constructed study of intentions, actions, and consequences, it is a mesmerizing, unflinching consideration of the human impulse to ensure our own survival.