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What we know about Eleanor Catton’s next book

Wednesday 15th March 2017

Expect billionaire survivalists, guerilla gardeners and a tragic sequence of events.


Eleanor Catton
Eleanor Catton

Photo: Supplied

Eleanor Catton’s first book since the Man Booker Prize-winning The Luminaries is a psychological thriller set in a remote area of New Zealand where "scores of ultra-rich foreigners are building fortress-like homes and stockpiling weapons in preparation for a coming global catastrophe", according to the author’s agent.

Called Birnam Wood, it follows a ragtag group of quarrelling leftists who move about the country cultivating other people's land.

“Their chance encounter with an American billionaire sparks a tragic sequence of events which questions, ultimately, how far each of us would go to ensure our own survival - and at what cost,” a said a statement from the agent.

The novel, Catton’s third after The Luminaries and The Rehearsal, is expected to be delivered to publishers later this year and be 80,000-100,000 words long. For comparison, The Luminaries was about 265,000.

Catton became the youngest ever winner of the Man Booker Prize at age 28 when she won for The Luminaries in 2013. The book also received the 2013 Governor General's Literary Award.

A television adaptation of The Luminaries, scripted by Catton, is being filmed in New Zealand by Working Title Television for the BBC this year.

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