Helen DeWitt was born in Washington DC in 1957, but spent most of her childhood in South America. She has a BA and a DPhil in Classics from Oxford University. She worked in a collection of odd jobs while writing the highly acclaimed The Last Samurai, which was published in over twenty countries. Lightning Rods is her second novel to be published. DeWitt lives in Berlin.

More Info

  • More about the novel on the Lightning Rods page.
  • Alexandra Schwartz writes in the New Yorker on Lightning Rods as ‘The sexual-harassment satire to read in a post-Harvey Weinstein world’
  • In Prospect magazine, n+1 editor Richard Beck writes on America’s new literary generation. Lightning Rods is the one real alternative presented: ‘It opens up possibilities, both literary and political, that you hadn’t realised were there before.’


David Evans
Financial Times

'A razor-sharp comic masterpiece.’

Sam Byers

‘A masterclass in contained satirical exploration.’

Joan Acocella
New Yorker

‘This is excellent: cold and crazy.’

Jenny Turner
The Guardian

'An extremely funny satire on office politics, sexual politics, American politics, and the art of positive thinking’

Holly Williams
The Independent

‘Nasty idea; very funny book. Helen DeWitt maintains a strong, clear, narrative voice throughout, pitch-perfectly parodying management speak, corporate culture and self-help bibles.’

David Annand
The Telegraph

‘As it moves inexorably onwards with the cold, hard logic of the free market, Lightning Rods gets ever funnier and more bizarre, its targets loftier and its analysis more acute’

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