book cover of North Woods
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North Woods

(2023)
A novel by

 
 
Awards
2024 ALA Notable Books for Adults (nominee)
2023 National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction (nominee)

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW TOP TEN BOOK OF THE YEAR

A
WASHINGTON POST TOP TEN BOOK OF THE YEAR • FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD

A sweeping novel about a single house in the woods of New England, told through the lives of those who inhabit it across the centuries—“a time-spanning, genre-blurring work of storytelling magic” (The Washington Post) from the Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of The Piano Tuner and The Winter Soldier.

“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

New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice • A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: Time, The Boston Globe, NPR, Chicago Public Library, The Star Tribune, The Economist, The Christian Science Monitor, Real Simple, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Bookreporter

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?


Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"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

"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. This is the best book I've read in ages." - Anthony Marra

"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


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