Caroline Dawnay at United Agents LLP is delighted to announce the sale of Eleanor Catton’s third novel, Birnam Wood.
New Zealand rights have been sold to Fergus Barrowman at Victoria University Press; Canadian rights to Jared Bland at McClelland & Stewart; US rights to Jonathan Galassi and Jenna Johnson at FSG, and UK & Australian rights to Max Porter at Granta Books. Translation rights are being handled by Margaret Halton at United Agents.
Birnam Wood 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. 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 which questions, ultimately, how far each of us would go to ensure our own survival - and at what cost.
The novel was sold on outline. It will be delivered at the end of 2017, with a proposed length of 80-100,000 words. Eleanor Catton was born in 1985 in Canada and raised in Christchurch, New Zealand. Her debut novel,The Rehearsal, won the Betty Trask Prize, the Amazon.ca First Novel Award, the NZSA Hubert Church Best First Book Award for Fiction and was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, the Prix Femina literature award, the abroad category of the Prix Médicis, the University of Wales Dylan Thomas Prize 2010 and Stonewall's Writer of the Year Award 2011, and longlisted for the Orange Prize 2010.In 2010 she was awarded the New Zealand Arts Foundation New Generation Award.