Eleanor Catton to tour New Zealand

  Wednesday 22 March 2023

Birnam Wood wows critics and readers worldwide


Booker Prize-winning New Zealand author Eleanor Catton will appear at events in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch in May this year to present her novel Birnam Wood, which has wowed critics and audiences around the world since its publication in February.

Catton, who currently lives in the UK, will return to New Zealand for three events at the Auckland Writers Festival on the 20th and 21st of May, and events in association with VERB Wellington on 23 May and with WORD Christchurch on 24 May.

Birnam Wood has been a number-one bestseller in New Zealand since publication, with almost 15,000 copies of the book sold to date.

Catton’s publisher, Fergus Barrowman of Te Herenga Waka University Press, says a reprint of Birnam Wood has been ordered to ensure there will be plenty of copies for Eleanor Catton’s forthcoming tour.

Birnam Wood is flying off the shelves in Aotearoa. We’re delighted by readers’ responses and so proud to publish Eleanor Catton’s work.”

Catton’s New Zealand visit follows a UK, US and Canada events tour where her fast-paced thriller has received rave reviews.

“… a sophisticated page-turner, that does something improbable: It filters anarchist, monkey-wrenching environmental politics, a generational (anti-baby boomer) cri de coeur and a downhill-racing plot through a Stoppardian sense of humor. The whole thing crackles, like hair drawn through a pocket comb.” — Dwight Garner, The New York Times.

Birnam Wood is a dark and brilliant novel about the violence and tawdriness of late capitalism. Its ending, though, propels it from a merely very good book into a truly great one.” —The Observer.

“The youngest Booker winner returns with a triumphant thriller.” — The Times.

“This is a book in which everything that people choose to do matters, albeit not in ways they may have anticipated. Catton has a profound command of how perceptions lead to choice, and of how choice, for most of us, is an act of self-definition.” —The New Yorker.

“A twisty, propulsive thriller… A deeply political story about capitalism, greed, environmental destruction, rapacious tech billionaires and the invasive omnipresence of social media…” —Globe and Mail, Canada.

“Startling… It is intensely, exhilaratingly alive… When we get to the final pages, we’re caught up in a situation that has the white-knuckle tension of a Lee Child thriller.” —National Post, Canada.

“Catton is a generous writer with an elastic talent. Her instinct is to give the reader more for their money — more plot, more context, more suspense, more social commentary, more character. Birnam Wood is a novel that contains multitudes.” —Johanna Thomas-Corr, The Sunday Times.

“[A] cracking read that compels as much as it provokes… This book is a triumphant retort to the generations of earth-strippers and self-enrichers, a social polemic sheathed in the cloak of a pacy thriller.” —Katy Hayes, The Irish Independent.

“[A] tightly plotted thriller… Birnam Wood is an enjoyably piquant blend of fictional modes… Catton’s characters resemble the figures in Greek tragedy, people enmeshed in systems whose attempts to commandeer their own fates inevitably end in tears and blood.” —Slate.

“Catton shares with [Jane] Austen the ability to pack exquisitely balanced sentences with razor-sharp observations about society and character.” —The Houston Chronicle.

“Eleanor Catton’s Birnam Wood is one of 2023’s most sophisticated, stylish and searching literary works, a full-on triumph from a generational talent.” —The Minneapolis Star Tribune.

New Zealand was the first country in the world to publish Birnam Wood by Eleanor Catton on 9 February 2023. The no


vel came 10 years after her novel The Luminaries, which won the Booker Prize, catapulting the Aotearoa writer to global stardom, selling 1.5 million copies worldwide, publishing in 32 languages.

Tickets to Catton’s New Zealand events are on sale now: from  www.writersfestival.co.nz  (Auckland); VERB Festival Wellington www.verbwellington.nz; and WORD Christchurch Festival and Events www.wordchristchurch.co.nz/programme/eleanor-catton


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 debut 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 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 lives in Britain.

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