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Book excerpt:


Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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Eleanor Catton’s “Birnam Wood” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), the newest novel by the Booker Prize-winning creator of “The Luminaries,” is a thriller set in New Zealand pitting radical environmentalists and a scheming billionaire.

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“Birnam Wood” by Eleanor Catton (Hardcover)

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Mira’s first thought, on coming dwelling to the empty flat, had been that Shelley had lastly accomplished it: packed up all her issues and left, with out warning, and with out a notice. After calling Shelley’s title and listening to no reply, she had stood within the open doorway for a number of seconds, reconciling herself to the brand new although long-expected actuality of Shelley being gone – earlier than her imaginative and prescient clarified and he or she noticed that Shelley’s bike was nonetheless within the laundry, and her footwear have been nonetheless piled beneath the radiator, and her beloved bomber jacket was nonetheless hanging on its coat hook within the corridor. Feeling silly, Mira rapidly revised her thought to surprise, as an alternative, if some sudden emergency had taken Shelley from the home … But when that have been the case, then would not she have referred to as – or texted, on the very least?

She remembered out of the blue the situation tracker app that that they had each put in some months in the past, and by no means used. She acquired out her cellphone to test if the connection was nonetheless lively, however within the transient time it took for the machine to fetch Shelley’s knowledge from no matter configuration of satellites and native masts have been coordinating her place, she grew ashamed of the intrusion, and exited the map earlier than it absolutely loaded, reproaching herself that it was no surprise Shelley had been feeling smothered, and questioning, not for the primary time, when precisely she had change into so technologically dependent that her first intuition in each unpredicted circumstance was to outsource her creativeness to her cellphone.

Two weeks had handed since she had first divined that Shelley wished out of Birnam Wooden, and for 2 weeks she had been paralysed by the identical mute and stricken helplessness that she had felt when her mother and father first introduced their separation – chiding herself, as she had then, that at her age and state of independence it was absurd that she ought to really feel so childishly forsaken, and so unhappy.

Excerpted from “Birnam Wooden” by Eleanor Catton. Revealed by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Copyright © 2023 by Eleanor Catton. All rights reserved.

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“Birnam Wood” by Eleanor Catton (Hardcover)

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  • “Birnam Wood” by Eleanor Catton (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), in Hardcover, Giant Print, eBook and Audio codecs

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