Alumni Book Club: Birnam Wood by Eleanor Catton
The Center for Social Concerns is hosting an online book club for alumni of our programs and courses. Join us to talk about books that engage issues of justice. We’ll do one book each meeting.
Register now to discuss:
Birnam Wood by Eleanor Catton
Thursday, January 25, 7:00–8:15 pm
Hosted by Dr. Connie Snyder Mick and Haley Beaupre ‘10
This 2023 novel has won many prizes. The publisher’s website describes it this way: “Birnam Wood is on the move …
A landslide has closed the Korowai Pass on New Zealand’s South Island, cutting off the town of Thorndike and leaving a sizable farm abandoned. The disaster presents an opportunity for Birnam Wood, an undeclared, unregulated, sometimes-criminal, sometimes-philanthropic guerrilla gardening collective that plants crops wherever no one will notice. For years, the group has struggled to break even. To occupy the farm at Thorndike would mean a shot at solvency at last.
But the enigmatic American billionaire Robert Lemoine also has an interest in the place: he has snatched it up to build his end-times bunker, or so he tells Birnam’s founder, Mira, when he catches her on the property. He’s intrigued by Mira, and by Birnam Wood; although they’re poles apart politically, it seems Lemoine and the group might have enemies in common. But can Birnam trust him? And, as their ideals and ideologies are tested, can they trust one another?
A gripping psychological thriller from the Booker Prize-winning author of The Luminaries, Eleanor Catton’s Birnam Wood is Shakespearean in its drama, Austenian in its wit, and, like both inﬂuences, fascinated by what makes us who we are. A brilliantly constructed study of intentions, actions, and consequences, it is a mesmerizing, unﬂinching consideration of the human impulse to ensure our own survival.
You can read more about the book and author here.
The first 15 people to sign up get a free book from the Center! (Be sure to register by December 21, before the University closes for the Christmas holiday, if you’d like to receive a free copy of the book.)
Please share this with friends who are alumni of the Center. Space is limited. Registered participants will receive a Zoom link to participate.