Creation Lake

Creation Lake

From the Booker Prize-shortlisted author


From Rachel Kushner, Booker Prize finalist and two-time National Book Award finalist, comes a new novel about a seductive and cunning American woman who infiltrates an anarchist collective in France

'Reinvents the spy novel in one cool, erudite gesture' HERNAN DIAZ

'Compulsively readable... Kill Bill written by John le Carré' OBSERVER

Sadie Smith – a thirty-four-year-old American undercover agent of ruthless tactics, bold opinions and clean beauty – is sent by her mysterious but powerful employers to a remote corner of France. Her mission: to infiltrate a commune of radical eco-activists influenced by the beliefs of a mysterious elder, Bruno Lacombe, who has rejected civilisation tout court.

Sadie casts her cynical eye over this region of ancient farms and sleepy villages, and at first finds Bruno’s idealism laughable – he lives in a Neanderthal cave and believes the path to enlightenment is a return to primitivism. But just as Sadie is certain she’s the seductress and puppet master of those she surveils, Bruno Lacombe is seducing her with his ingenious counter-histories, his artful laments, his own tragic story.

Beneath this parodic spy novel about a woman caught in the crossfire between the past and the future lies a profound treatise on human history. Creation Lake is Rachel Kushner’s finest achievement yet – a work of high art, high comedy and irresistible pleasure.


  • Creation Lake reinvents the spy novel in one cool, erudite gesture. Only Rachel Kushner could weave environmental activism, paranoia, and nihilism into a gripping philosophical thriller. Enthralling and sleekly devious, this book is also a lyrical reflection on both the origin and the fate of our species. A novel this brilliant and profound shouldn’t be this much fun
    Hernan Diaz, author of Trust

About the author

Rachel Kushner

Rachel Kushner is the author of The Hard Crowd, her acclaimed essay collection, and the internationally bestselling novels The Mars Room, The Flamethrowers, and Telex from Cuba, as well as a book of short stories, The Strange Case of Rachel K. She has won the Prix Médicis and been shortlisted for the Booker Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Folio Prize, and was twice a finalist for the National Book Award in Fiction. She is a Guggenheim Foundation Fellow and the recipient of the Harold D. Vursell Memorial Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her books are translated into twenty-seven languages.
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