Diane Cook’s extraordinary novel is both a blazing lament for our contempt of nature and a deeply humane portrayal of motherhood.

In a world ravaged by climate change, Bea’s five-year-old daughter is wasting away, consumed by the pollution of the metropolis they call home. If they stay in the city, Agnes will die. There is only one alternative: Wilderness State. Living as nomadic hunter-gatherers, Bea and Agnes slowly learn how to survive on this unpredictable, often dangerous land. But as Agnes embraces the wild freedom of her new existence, Bea realises that saving her daughter’s life means losing her in a different way.

The 2020 Booker Prize
Published by
Oneworld Publications
Publication date
Diane Cook

Diane Cook

About the Author

Diane Cook is a critically acclaimed novelist and short story writer. A former producer for the radio show, This American Life, she lives in Brooklyn.
More about Diane Cook

Roxane Gay on Diane Cook's The New Wilderness

Actor Anne-Marie Duff reads from The New Wilderness


Actor Anne-Marie Duff performs a reading from the 2020 Booker Prize-shortlisted author Diane Cook’s book, The New Wilderness.

This was originally streamed during The Booker Prize 2020 winner ceremony.

The New Wilderness

Being able to remember how much we share with the natural world makes the business of being human a little less bewildering, and lonely