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  • Published: 19 September 2023
  • ISBN: 9781529152913
  • Imprint: Hutchinson Heinemann
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 272
  • RRP: $34.99

The Vaster Wilds



'Exhilarating' GUARDIAN
'Her writing has a timeless quality' THE TIMES
'[Has] a visionary quality' OBSERVER

A profound and explosive novel about a spirited girl alone in the wilderness, trying to survive

A servant girl escapes from a settlement. She carries nothing with her but her wits, a few possessions, and the spark of god that burns hot within her. What she finds is beyond the limits of her imagination and will bend her belief of everything that her own civilization has taught her.

The Vaster Wilds is a work of raw and prophetic power that tells the story of America in miniature, through one girl at a hinge point in history, to ask how -and if - we can adapt quickly enough to save ourselves.

Praise for MATRIX:
'Lush, gripping and ferocious' MADELINE MILLER
'Full of passion, wisdom and magic' SARAH WATERS
'Gorgeous, sensual, addictive' SARA COLLINS
'Brightly lit' NAOMI ALDERMAN
'A propulsive, captivating read' BRIT BENNETT
'Fascinating, beguiling, vivid' MARIAN KEYES

  • Published: 19 September 2023
  • ISBN: 9781529152913
  • Imprint: Hutchinson Heinemann
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 272
  • RRP: $34.99

About the author

Lauren Groff

Lauren Groff is the author of three New York Times bestselling novels – Fates and Furies (named by Barack Obama as his favourite book of 2015), The Monsters of Templeton and Arcadia – as well as the story collection Delicate Edible Birds. She graduated from Amherst College and has an MFA in fiction from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Groff’s fiction has won the Pushcart Prize and the PEN/O. Henry Award, among others, and has been shortlisted for the Orange Award for New Writers and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. In 2017, she was named one of Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists. Her stories have appeared in publications including The New Yorker, the Atlantic, One Story and Ploughshares, and in several of the annual The Best New American Stories anthologies. She lives in Gainesville, Florida, with her husband and two sons.

Also by Lauren Groff

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Praise for The Vaster Wilds

Groff is a mastermind, a masterpiece creator, an intoxicating magician. I wait with impatience for every book and I am always surprised and delighted. The Vaster Wilds feels like her bravest yet, hallucinatory, divine, beyond belief but also entirely human

Daisy Johnson

Lauren Groff is one of the finest novelists of our age. Her writing is searingly beautiful - delicate and powerful at the same time. The voice of the unnamed girl is haunting and the descriptions of the wild lands are deliciously poetic. The Vaster Wilds first grabs you tenderly and then refuses to let go. It's exquisite, heart-wrenching and utterly mesmerising

Andrea Wulf

I could not stop reading. A haunting, thrilling, gripping and rich. An unputdownable adventure, a mystery and a strange beautiful redemption

Naomi Alderman

Groff writes in prose that sparkles . . . this beautifully written, soulful book is partly a fable and partly a treatise on greed: an exhortation for mankind to be satisfied with his lot, something we would all do well to heed


Of the many distinctions of this rich and visionary novel, perhaps the greatest is its prose. The Vaster Wilds presents us with a powerful alternative vision of the settlement of America: one not of a struggle between civilisation and savagery, in which European men felt "a need to set their boots upon everything they saw", but of a resourceful young woman working with nature to establish a new life. Barack Obama picked two of Groff’s previous books — Fates and Furies in 2015 and Matrix in 2021 — as his novels of the year. It would be no surprise if The Vaster Wilds made it a third

Financial Times

Groff’s prose is anointed with an agitated, near transcendent intensity…In setting her alongside the likes of Hernan Diaz, and his Pulitzer Prize- winning Trust (2022), Groff’s books makes her one of an exciting new generation of American novelists who are using fiction to rewrite the founding myths of the so- called Land of Liberty

Sunday Telegraph

Her storytelling has such raw virtuosity that the book is hard to put down. A page-turner which should appeal to Bear Grylls fans and feminists alike

Mail on Sunday

Another September title that we've been desperately waiting for— Lauren Groff, author of Matrix is back, with an electrifying new novel set in early colonial America; seventeenth century Jamestown, to be precise. A servant girl is working for her mistress who has a disabled daughter. She is devoted to the family but then abruptly leaves, heading into the wilderness, with just a few items and a spiritual spark inside of her. This is the start of the servant girl's journey — an utterly thrilling adventure in which she discovers the world around her and tries to find a different way to live in the face of colonialism. Written in Goff's trademark visceral prose, this haunting book will stay with you long after you've finished it. Fact


As always, Groff’s prose is finely worked, with a poet’s eye for imagery (a porcupine walks "his bristles through the undergrowth with the weary pomp of a crowned prince") and a visionary quality that recalls Matrix


There is something exhilarating about this novel, a velocity of ambition . . . Groff is not lost in the forest. She knows exactly where she is going


Her writing has a timeless quality . . . [Groff] has a nose for moments of transcendent, almost holy natural beauty

The Times

Between these memories, scenes mostly consist of the girl’s triumphs and misfortunes as she traverses the land. These make for gripping reading, the life-or-death implications made clear, even when the setback is as small as a mislaid pair of gloves. It is here that Groff’s spellbinding prose comes fully into play, as she describes the glory of the natural world, even in moments when it is at its most unforgiving


It’s a novel of bleakness and beauty, as the relentless demands of eking out a life wreck her ‘good strong dancing body’, while the wonders of nature leave her spirit ‘ravished'

Daily Mail

A dazzlingly clever tale . . . gorgeously precise prose, always elegantly weighted and perfectly economical

The Times on MATRIX


Telegraph on MATRIX


Financial Times on MATRIX