by Daniel Mason
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Pub Date 19 Sep 2023 | Archive Date 31 Jan 2024
Random House Publishing Group - Random House, Random House
“With the expansiveness and immersive feeling of two-time Booker Prize nominee David Mitchell’s fiction (Cloud Atlas), the wicked creepiness of Edgar Allan Poe, and Mason’s bone-deep knowledge of and appreciation for the natural world that’s on par with that of Thoreau, North Woods fires on all cylinders.”—San Francisco Chronicle
ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW AND THE WASHINGTON POST’S TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR
A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: Time, NPR, Chicago Public Library, The Star Tribune, The Economist, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly
When two young lovers abscond from a Puritan colony, little do they know that their humble cabin in the woods will become the home of an extraordinary succession of human and nonhuman characters alike. An English soldier, destined for glory, abandons the battlefields of the New World to devote himself to growing apples. A pair of spinster twins navigate war and famine, envy and desire. A crime reporter unearths an ancient mass grave—only to discover that the earth refuse to give up their secrets. A lovelorn painter, a sinister con man, a stalking panther, a lusty beetle: As the inhabitants confront the wonder and mystery around them, they begin to realize that the dark, raucous, beautiful past is very much alive.
This magisterial and highly inventive novel from Pulitzer Prize finalist Daniel Mason brims with love and madness, humor and hope. Following the cycles of history, nature, and even language, North Woods shows the myriad, magical ways in which we’re connected to our environment, to history, and to one another. It is not just an unforgettable novel about secrets and destinies, but a way of looking at the world that asks the timeless question: How do we live on, even after we’re gone?
"Ambitious, alive, and lush with generosity, North Woods is an immersive sprint through time. It offers an inventive portrait of the individual and the collective, a vivid history of a cabin and a country, inhabiting each of its characters with a compassion that took my breath away. I emerged from this book as though from an enchanted forest, covered in leaves and changed by what I had seen there. Electrifying."
—Tess Gunty, author of The Rabbit Hutch
“North Woods is a monumental achievement of polyphony and humanity. Relating the narrative of an entire country via a single plot of land, it sweeps the reader through hundreds of years and an array of protagonists with a deft, heartbreaking, idiosyncratic zeal. I loved it.”
— Maggie O’Farrell, New York Times bestselling author of Hamnet
“North Woods is the most original and spellbinding novel I’ve read in ages. Mason makes bramble, brush, and orchard come alive with the spirits of its unforgettable former inhabitants. Their lives and passionate loves and their chilling acts of vengeance had me glued to my seat.”
—Abraham Verghese, author of The Covenant of Water
“North Woods is a sui generis work of pure brilliance, an epic written with a miniaturist’s precision. Daniel Mason has unearthed, in the centuries-spanning history of a single New England home, a universal story of loss and reclamation. A critic once said, ‘I’d rather watch a novelist fail at jumping over skyscrapers than succeed at jumping over shoeboxes.’ In North Woods, Daniel Mason has discovered the secret to leaping over skyscrapers and sticking the landing. It's the best book I’ve read in ages."
— Anthony Marra, New York Times bestselling author of Mercury Pictures Presents
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