'Psychological thriller' by Man Booker winner
Eleanor Catton, winner of the 2013 Man Booker Prize, has signed a deal for a new novel with Granta. Max Porter at Granta signed UK and Australian rights through Caroline Dawnay at United Agents. Rights have also gone to Fergus Barrowman at Victoria University Press (New Zealand); Jared Bland at McClelland & Stewart (Canada); and Jonathan Galassi and Jenna Johnson at FSG (US).
The new novel, sold on outline and due to be delivered at the end of this year, is billed as a psychological thriller called Birnam Wood. It is 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. The novel follows the guerrilla gardening outfit Birnam Wood, 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; the novel raises questions about how far each of us would go to ensure our survival.
Catton's two previous novels, both garlanded, are The Rehearsal (2010) and The Luminaries (2013).